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Woman Explains Why She Became A Poo Donor

Woman Explains Why She Became A Poo Donor

We all know the life-saving possibilities of becoming a blood, bone marrow or organ donor, but what about the benefits of handing over your poo?

Before you ask, yes, it's a real thing. Turns out some people's faeces is absolutely packed with good bacteria which can be put in the bowels of sick people to make them better.

This is the case for Claudia Campanella who works as a student support administrator at a university, but also donates poo on the side.

Claudia Campenella. Credit: Alzira Della Ragione
Claudia Campenella. Credit: Alzira Della Ragione
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She is part of a study into gastroenterology research where he unusual donations can make a massive difference.

But I know what you're thinking; how on earth does it all work?

Some scientists believe that some people's faeces have the absolutely ideal mix of healing bacteria that can tackle different types of disease in the gut, such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

Claudia had previously read that vegans might be the ideal candidates to be super-donors. So, being vegan, Claudia decided to give it a try.

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Scientist conducting experiment. Credit: PA
Scientist conducting experiment. Credit: PA

She told LADbible: "I had read in an article about a research that claimed that vegan donors might potentially be ideal donors due their healthier guts, more regular bowel movements etc.

"I had also seen a documentary on how faecal transplant is being researched to cure diseases like Alzheimer's, autism, obesity and many more mental illnesses as well as intestinal ones.

"The study I volunteer for is for the treatment of hepatic cirrhosis."

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It's currently unknown if vegans are the ultimate super-donors, but scientists are looking into what makes some people's faeces more 'super' than others.

One person looking into the whole concept of poo donors and super poo is Dr Justin O'Sullivan is a molecular biology expert at the University of Auckland.

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Dr O'Sullivan told BBC News: "We see transplants from super-donors achieve clinical remission rates of perhaps double the remaining average.

"Our hope is that if we can discover how this happens, then we can improve the success of faecal transplantation and even trial it for new microbiome-associated conditions like Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and asthma."

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Every single person's bowel contains millions of different bacteria and no two persons are identical.

Another expert looking into it is Dr Jon Landy, a consultant gastroenterologist for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust who helps to co-ordinate their faecal transplant unit.

He agrees with the whole concept but does worry it could be difficult to find people of a perfect match - much like with a normal organ donation.

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"We do not understand yet what makes a super-donor, or why," he said.

"We always make sure our donors are healthy and not carrying any disease, but we don't test all of their microbiome to see what that is like.

"These are the sorts of investigations that might need to be done."

Who knows? This could be the future happening before our eyes.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, UK News, Research

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Rachael Grealish

Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.