Harvard Scientists Claim Preserving Your Poop Could Later Save Your Life

Researchers from Harvard recently published a paper that suggests preserving poop could be life-saving later in life.

The idea is that your poop could be frozen when you’re young and healthier and used as part of a fecal microbiota transplant (when and if necessary) to treat certain ailments.

The paper was published in the journal Trends in Molecular Medicine and suggests the practice could save lives.

Photo: flickr/Marco Verch Professional Photographer

According to Science Daily, poop transplants (more officially known as fecal microbiota transplants) could help with ailments such as “asthma, allergies, diseases of the digestive system, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions.”

Typically, patients getting a transplant would rely on donor fecal matter for treatment but that could be avoided by preserving your own poop.

Researchers involved in the paper compare the practice to when parents preserve their baby’s cord blood in case they need it later down the road for medical treatments.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

According to Science Daily, Yang-Yu Liu, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard, explained:

“Conceptually, the idea of stool banking for autologous FMT is similar to when parents bank their baby’s cord blood for possible future use. However, there is greater potential for stool banking, and we anticipate that the chance of using stool samples is much higher than for cord blood.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

One condition that could use a fecal transplant for treatment is known as a C. difficile infection. According to the New York Post, C. difficile infection kills an estimated 29,000 people in the U.S. each year.

If you’re interested in preserving your own poop for future use, you can check out the nonprofit stool bank OpenBiome which is located in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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