In China, Your Daily Excretions Could Be Someone Else’s Medicine
In what isn’t a joke or scandal, the Shanghai Children’s Hospital is now calling for volunteers to donate their feces, reported the online news outlet Peng Pai.
The Feb. 18 announcement is part of a project to use the diverse microbiological ecology found in the human intestines to help those with ailments not treatable by antibiotics.
“There are around 1,000 to 1,150 kinds of bacteria in the intestinal tract of a healthy human being,” the announcement reads. “According to research by the Shanghai Children’s Hospital, … transplanting microorganisms from a healthy intestinal tract to patients can rectify disorders and alleviate disease.”
Here’s how it works: aseptic physiological saline solution is mixed with the feces containing effective microorganisms. The filtered mixture is then introduced to the intestinal tract of the patient via hypodermic syringe.
In 2013, the Children’s Hospital saw successes in treating children suffering from digestive ailments.
“To become an honorable voluntary intestinal tract microorganism donor,” the announcement goes, volunteers must accept many examinations in the hospital and provide 50g fresh feces for parasite evaluation.
Those who pass testing will donate 10 to 15 times a month. They will be give 200 yuan (about $30) a week to cover transportation costs.
The fecal solution are frozen at negative 112 degrees Fahrenheit and have a shelf life of six months.
Using excrement as a medicine is an ancient concept that can be traced to the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317–420 A.D.), when the famous doctor Li Shizhen used fresh feces from children to cure diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. In more recent history, feces were successfully used in 1958 to cure a patient suffering from intestinal inflammation.