There is a high percentage of people living with liver disease across the world.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.5 billion people worldwide are living with chronic liver disease and a total of 1.32 million deaths are recorded yearly.
In a bid to solve this alarming problem, a lot of research is currently being carried out which includes the faecal transplant, which I will discuss in this article.
So, the question is this: Can a faecal transplant trial provide hope for people with liver problems?
Yes, faecal transplant trials are being explored as a potential treatment option for people with certain liver problems, particularly those associated with conditions such as cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.
What Is Faecal Transplant?
Faecal transplant which is better put as Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) involves transferring healthy gut bacteria from a donor’s faeces into the gastrointestinal tract of a recipient. This procedure aims to restore a healthy balance of gut bacteria and improve various health conditions, including those related to the liver.
The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health, including liver function. Imbalances in the gut microbiota, known as dysbiosis, have been linked to various liver disorders.
FMT is being studied to determine its potential benefits for individuals with liver problems such as:
Hepatic encephalopathy is a neuropsychiatric complication of liver cirrhosis, characterised by cognitive impairment and changes in mental state. Dysbiosis in the gut microbiota is thought to contribute to the development of hepatic encephalopathy. FMT trials aim to restore a healthier gut microbiota composition, potentially reducing the severity of encephalopathy symptoms.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
NAFLD is a condition where excess fat accumulates in the liver, often due to poor diet and lifestyle choices. Emerging research suggests that gut microbiota composition could play a role in NAFLD progression. FMT trials are exploring whether altering the gut microbiota can positively impact NAFLD and related conditions.
Alcoholic liver disease
Alcohol consumption can disrupt gut microbiota balance, which in turn may contribute to the development of alcoholic liver disease. FMT studies are investigating whether restoring a healthier gut microbiota profile can mitigate the effects of alcohol-induced liver damage.
FMT trials are also exploring whether modifying the gut microbiota before or after liver transplantation can improve transplant outcomes and reduce the risk of complications.
It’s important to note that while faecal transplant trials hold promise, the research is still in its early stages, and more studies are needed to establish the safety, efficacy, and long-term effects of this approach for liver-related conditions. Additionally, FMT should only be performed under the supervision of medical professionals and in appropriate clinical settings.
Individuals with liver problems should consult with their healthcare providers to determine whether they might be candidates for faecal transplant trials or other emerging treatments. Medical experts can assess the potential benefits and risks based on the individual’s specific condition and health status.
Researched By: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi.