Poop Pills

Is your health… literally in the toilet?!


This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.


Imagine taking 40 HUGE PILLS in two days. That’s what people with intestinal infections have to do sometimes. And inside those pills? Healthy gut microbes from POOP. Why would anyone do that? Because intestinal infections have a fifteen percent fatality rate. And it occurs when the gut microbes become impaired. 


Is there a less… gag-inducing method to save our guts?


Enter Adèle Rakotonirina and team from the University of Geneva. 


They captured healthy microbes into tiny beads! They mixed purified microbes from healthy poop with a type of sugar. This mixture was then dripped into a solution to form small, gel-like beads that were then dried. Wait. Really? Ok.


These beads are tasteless and dissolve into liquid or food, carrying healthy bacteria to the intestines. This innovation may make treatment way easier. 


Sounds like POO-phoric news! Just imagine the flavors it’ll come in!


Rakotonirina, A., Galperine, T., Audry, M., Kroemer, M., Baliff, A., Carrez, L., Sadeghipour, F., Schrenzel, J., Guery, B., & Allémann, E. (2023). Dry alginate beads for fecal microbiota transplantation: From model strains to fecal samples. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 639, 122961. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2023.122961