Fecal transplants have now shown promise for use in treating intestinal permeability and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease according to research from Lawson Health Research Institute.
NAFLD patients have different microbiomes to healthy individuals and usually have IBS and intestinal permeability issues resulting in inflammation, insulin resistance, elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood, and an increase in fat in the liver.
A new randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology showed that fecal transplants with NAFLD patients resulted in less pathogens and other unwanted molecules passing through the gut wall and into the bloodstream.
Dr. Michael Silverman, Associate Scientist at Lawson and Professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry who was part of the team doing the study said that intestinal permeability was a major cause of coronary disease, cerebrovascular disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, diabetes, autoimmune disease and metabolic syndrome.
21 NAFLD patients from London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London were randomized to receive a fecal transplant using stools from healthy donors or a placebo from the patient themselves.
Importantly, the researchers found no changes in insulin resistance or the percentage of liver fat. There was a significant reduction in intestinal permeability in the patients receiving a healthy microbiome.
“Our study demonstrates that intestinal permeability can be improved through fecal transplant from a healthy donor,” says study author Dr. Laura Craven, Ph.D. “This suggests that fecal transplant could be used as an early intervention in the treatment of NAFLD to reduce intestinal permeability and prevent inflammation”
Hitherto, Fecal Transplants are only officially approved in most countries for the treatment of Clostridium difficile. However, these results could have huge implications for the treatment of a whole variety of conditions from metabolic syndrome to autoimmune diseases.