The secret to a slim figure might be as simple as...eating poop.
That’s the hypothesis of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, who plan to test the effects of freeze-dried poop capsules on obese study participants. But it’s not just any old poop—the capsules come courtesy of lean people.
The researchers aren't just pulling this idea out of their you know whats: The trial is based on the growing evidence that the bacteria in your gut can impact a lot of areas of your body, including your weight. Scientists want to see if the healthy gut bacteria in the poop of lean people will transfer to obese patients, set up camp, and help them lose weight.
Additionally, a series of studies published in 2013 in the journal Nature found that obese people have less diverse gut bacteria than their thinner counterparts, suggesting that diversity is good in your intestinal tract.
“Fecal transplants,” as the medical community refers to eating poop, have also been successful in mice, per a study published in the journal Science.
Fecal transplant procedures that don't require swallowing doodie are done for other reasons, too. According to the Johns Hopkins website, they may be conducted—via colonoscopy—for people who suffer from an intestinal inflammation known as C. difficile colitis. But poop capsules seem to be a new, less invasive way to explore the benefits of sharing feces.
Of course, poop pills alone are unlikely to help people lose weight or keep it off: Research has repeatedly shown that a balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. But it will definitely be cool to see if this becomes part of the weight-loss plan of the future.
Want to give or take a poop? The study isn’t open yet for recruitment, but you can regularly check here to sign up once they’re accepting participants. Let us know if you get in!