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Would You Swallow Poop if It Would Help You Lose Weight?

Scientists are conducting an experiment to see if fecal matter from lean people could help jumpstart metabolism of obese folks.

Weight loss methods are getting more and more creative. We recently learned about an enzyme discovery paving the way for a diet pill that (gasp!) actually might work for regular non-obese adults. There’s also tons of work being done in the area of personalized diets and medicine. Case in point: Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are working on weight loss programs tailored to individuals’ genetics. But the latest method we’ve heard about is perhaps the most "creative"—and definitely has the biggest gross factor. Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital are beginning a clinical trial that will involve taking the feces of “lean metabolically healthy donors,” and putting it in to a pill for study participants to swallow (half of partipants will get a placebo).

If you're wondering who the heck would even think to try this, the idea goes back to the microbiome—your gut plays a huge role in your metabolism, scientists say, and in your overall health. (That’s why probiotics are so important.)

The study is not yet accepting participants but stay tuned if you have a BMI greater than 30 (a requirement) and are between the ages of 25 and 60 (also a requirement). The study will last for 12 weeks and scientists anticipate changes in “weight, insulin sensitivity, and body composition.”

But even if their hypothesis proves accurate, it makes you think: Would you—in effect—eat someone else’s poop if it would help you to lose weight? This, at the least, is reassuring: "The pills are odorless, tasteless and double-encapsulated to ensure they will not release until they reach the right location in the large intestine," Assistant professor and clinical researcher Elaine Yu told the Daily News.


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