Saturday, November 10, 2012

Overselling the microbiome award of the month: Integrative medical group of Irvine

Wow.  Just discovered this site: Fecal Transplantation | Integrative Medical Group of Irvine.  Not sure how long it has been out there.  But this is one of the more aggressive and perhaps egregious overselling of the power of the human microbiome that I have seen. They are promoting fecal transplants at their clinic as a way to cure a diverse array of ailments from ulcerative colitis to obesity and imply they can be used for cardiovascular health, emotional status, bone health, and more.  My "favorite" part:
As our understanding of the enormous importance of bowel micro-biota (bacteria) grows, the indications for fecal transplant will expand greatly and public acceptance will follow. But there is no reason for you to wait. Dr. Lee, our naturopathic doctor, is one of only a tiny handful of specialists certified in the use of fecal transplant. She can expertly manage your case.
Yes that is right.  We (the royal We of course) are on the verge of showing that the microbiota does EVERYTHING and therefore, if anything ails you, just wash your troubles away with some shit from a relative.  There is no reason to wait.  Come in to our clinic now.

And for the misleading nature of this site, I am giving this Integrative Medical Group of Irvine my coveted "Overselling the microbiome award."  Previous winners and discussions of this issue are listed below:


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UPDATE September 2017

Was just looking back at this post.  Alas the link to the Irvine web site was dead.  But thankfully the Internet Archive indexed this page. See https://web.archive.org/web/20130405021335/http://integrativemgi.com/fecal-transplantation/. It is from 2013 but may be the same as what I was seeing.

I am copying the text below

Fecal Transplantation

The gastrointestinal (GI) system is largely responsible for the well-being of every other cell and system in the body. It absorbs the nutrients which all cells require, expels toxic wastes, nurtures the complex bacterial bio-matrix which produces essential enzymes and vitamins, protects the body from invading organisms, and participates in critical “cross-talk” with the brain and the immune system.
When the bacterial communities of the intestinal tract become altered or damaged, their essential processes malfunction and the health of the individual declines – sometimes slowly, but at other times with devastating speed. When this happens, we attempt to “heal the gut,” a process that involves elimination diets, healing supplementation and probiotics. This can take many weeks or longer.
Recently, however, a new treatment has been developed that is proving highly beneficial, amazing fast, and in many cases lifesaving. Though fecal transplantation sounds unappealing, this amazingly simple procedure rejuvenates the gastrointestinal (GI) system literally overnight by taking fecal material from a healthy donor (preferably a relative), carefully processing it, and then inserting it into the colon of the patient. This is a simple and safe procedure, and, of course, the donor is thoroughly screened for communicable diseases.
The most common application of fecal transplant is in patients suffering from a serious intestinal infection caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria. Usually infections with C. diff occur following oral administration of antibiotics, and with increasing frequency the resulting infection is resistant to all antibiotic therapies. Lives have been saved and transformed in a matter of days following a fecal transplant treatment.
Exciting novel applications are evolving for fecal transplant. One is for the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC). Patients on the verge of having their colons removed or patients living in misery with UC have experienced dramatic remissions following fecal transplants.
Another novel application involves the use of fecal transplants in obese patients. It has been discovered that in these individuals, the GI bacteria differ from those found in thin, healthy people. These so-called “fat bacteria” can extract a significantly greater quantity of calories from the same amount of food as do normal bowel bacteria. There is great hope that doing a fecal transplant on an obese individual will stimulate more appropriate bacterial behavior, and weight loss will become much easier.
Data now exists that the bacteria in the gut impacts virtually all aspects of health. Cardiovascular well-being, emotional status, bone strength, as well as immune health are all dependent on a healthy bowel flora.
As our understanding of the enormous importance of bowel micro-biota (bacteria) grows, the indications for fecal transplant will expand greatly and public acceptance will follow. But there is no reason for you to wait. Dr. Lee, our naturopathic doctor, is one of only a tiny handful of specialists certified in the use of fecal transplant. She can expertly manage your case.
If you are interested in learning more about how fecal transplants can improve your health, we encourage you to call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee.

1 comment:

  1. It's just the latest brazen scam quackery from the bunch. Nothing new or special!
    Integrative medical center

    ReplyDelete