Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More awful reporting on the "poop doping" claimed by Dr. Lauren Peterson


Been trying to stamp out the awful reporting on the poop doping claims of Dr. Lauren Peterson.  See

But the crap keeps flowing.  Here is the last - in the NY Post: Poop transplants are the final frontier in athletic doping | New York Post

Here are some quotes from the story and my comments about them.

  • "The treatment helped her battle Lyme Disease, however, there was a downside."
    • No evidence exists that this treatment helped her battle Lyme disease.
  • "“I had no microbes to help me break down food, and I had picked up bugs in the lab where I was working because my system was so weak and susceptible,”"
    • This is reported with no caveats when there should be plenty.  This is almost certainly a incorrect interpretation by her.
  • "What’s worse, during graduate school Petersen had her digestive system tested and discovered that she was full of gram-negative pathogens. Common strains of the pathogens include E.coli and Salmonella."
    • Almost certainly this is also a misinterpretation.  Most tests such as those by American Gut which she claimed to have done would not have been able to say if she had pathogenic versions of these bugs.
  • The results were astounding
    • This implies cause and effect which has not been shown.
  • It turns out that Petersen probably would not have been doing as well if she’d gotten a couch potato’s poop. 
    • No evidence for this exists.
  • she already knows that it plays a critical part of muscle recovery.
    • I am deeply skeptical of this claim. 
  • Besides creating flatulence, decreasing the amount of hydrogen in our gut increases the amount of calories that are extracted from food, a study published in PLos One suggests.
    • It is really great that they link to a paper thus trying to show there is evidence for a claim.  Alas, the paper does not show what is claimed here.  This paper is just about comparing abundance of different microbes in obese, anorexic and control patients.  So to say they "suggest" that this papers shows this methanogen is involved in increasing the amount of calories extracted from food is misleading.  The authors hypothesize that sure.  So in one sense they "suggest" this but the way this is written implies they actually studied that, when they did not.


  1. If this ever becomes a commercialized “thing” the absolutely best name for a storefront operation is already taken; see

  2. You're fighting the good fight against baf Science journalism.


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