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IATI - Israel Advanced Technology Industries
IATI - Israel Advanced Technology Industries
IATI News & Events Daily Industry News A process of elimination

A process of elimination

Apr. 10, 2016

It seems that the creator allowed a wide variety of diseases to inflict mankind, He also provided the world with a “medicine cabinet” of natural substances that can treat and even cure these disorders. All researchers have to do is to discover and apply them.

Substances contained in various plants, minerals and other natural resources have been suggested over the millennia and proven scientifically in the last few centuries to alleviate diseases.

Some proposed substances have been bizarre. Body wastes like urine have been suggested by complementary medicine “therapists” for medicinal or cosmetic purposes. 

The fifth prime minister of India, Morarji Desai, boasted to American TV viewers in 1978 that he drank his own urine to cure his ills, and suggested that “urine therapy” was “the perfect medical solution for the millions of Indians who cannot afford medical treatment.”

However, its alleged benefits have still not been proven, and “urine therapy” has not caught on.

Now the other kind of human body waste – feces – has entered the spotlight and actually been proven in mice and even in humans to be beneficial when transplanted for treating and even curing a variety of diseases.

Numerous articles have proven these claims in serious medical journals, and non-profit “banks” of feces from healthy donors have been set up in various parts of the world. Fecal donors undergo more stringent tests than those who give blood.

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMTs), also known as stool transplants, have been allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration for various severe gastroenterological infections that can otherwise be dangerous and even fatal.

The FDA approves it with certain restrictions, such as the patient having to sign a consent form, but it doesn’t have to be carried out as part of a formal clinical trial. Thousands of FMTs have already been performed in the US.

Since 2014, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center has had the country’s first fecal (bacteriotherapy) transplant clinic for treating and even curing Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), which can result in problems from diarrhea to pseudomembranous colitis. Dr. Nitsan Maharshak of the hospital’s department of gastroenterology and hepatology will co-chair the “Microbiome” session at the IATI-Biomed 2016 conference, on May 24 to 26, in Tel Aviv together with Sourasky colleague Prof. Zamir Halpern.

For the full Jerusalem Post feature story click here.

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