Fecal transplants can successfully treat Clostridium difficile infection, University of Minnesota researchers report. The small study showed that patients undergoing fecal transplants had healthy changes in intestinal bacteria for as long as 21 weeks after the procedure.
To understand the composition and function of fecal bacteria, researchers performed a comparative DNA analysis of stool samples of 14 Clostridium difficile patients before and after fecal transplant and compared them with samples from a control group. Healthy and post-transplant patients had similar bacterial environments, which indicate that the transplants promoted a diverse community of healthy gut bacteria.
Oakland, Calif., gastroenterologist Dr. Neil Stollman has seen a 100% cure rate using fecal transplant procedures to treat Clostridium difficile infection, and he says the therapy has the potential to help thousands of people. Demand for the procedure far outpaces the supply of doctors who perform it, but fecal transplants are new to Western medicine, and federal regulations remain a question while billing protocols have yet to be established. That unmet demand has raised concerns about do-it-yourself treatments, scams involving untested promises and a fecal transplant black market.
A study found 17.3% of patients with chronic hepatitis C had a contraindication to pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy, but most were treatable or transient. Bipolar disorders, anemia and pregnancy were the most common contraindications, according to researchers from State University of New York in Buffalo. Those with contraindications tended to be white, younger, female, unmarried and covered by public insurance.
A review of past research concludes that folic acid supplements do not affect cancer risk during the first five years. Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway said it was suggested in 2007 that higher rates of colorectal cancer in the U.S. and Canada were linked to folic acid fortification programs, but the current study did not substantiate an overall link with five years of supplementation.