Bitter Pill: Tablet made of poop can now cure diarrhea

This may sound extremely gross, but this poop has some miraculous power.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have discovered a new way to cure intestinal infections — by making you gulp down poop!

Inside the experimental capsule is human feces — strained, centrifuged and frozen. Yes, pills made from poop are the latest invention and a new study has found that just two days of the treatment can cure a dangerous infection that kills 14,000 Americans per year.

A report on Discover magazine notes that the researchers first find stool from healthy donors and put them in a saline solution.

 Bitter Pill: Tablet made of poop can now cure diarrhea

Representative Image. AFP

A health blog on NPR notes the process:

To test that hypothesis, the researchers got donations from young, healthy volunteers screened to make sure they didn't have HIV, hepatitis or other infectious diseases. They froze the material and waited four weeks to test the donors again. Once the donors got a clean bill of health, pill production began.

The contents are filtered to extract helpful bacteria, and the cocktail is then piped into pill capsules and subsequently frozen.

Patients can pop the pills straight out of the freezer, where they can be stored for up to 250 days.

A New York Times report notes, that while the pills are not yet marketed, researchers are already making them available to qualified patients without requiring participation in clinical trials.

As unsavoury as it sounds, doctors say such bug-based treatments could be the next generation of medicines which treat everything from obesity to inflammation and allergies.

Updated Date: Oct 14, 2014 13:59:40 IST