Why celebrities might start selling their faeces

Faecal transplants are soaring in popularity as a treatment for a range of diseases, with some donors being paid up to $13,000 (£8,500) for their stool.

Bacteria in the gut is thought to play a vital role in our health and therefore by taking the faecal matter of a healthy person and putting them into a sick person, the good bacteria can get to work tackling disease.

However, the procedure made headlines last week after a rather strange side effect seemed to have occurred on a woman being treated for clostridium difficile - an infection of the gut which causes diarrhoea and fever.

Around a year after having a faecal transplant from her healthy but overweight daugther, the patient in the US complained of massive weight gain.

Other surgeons report they have noticed that some patients appear to have been cured from depression or alopecia after having the treatment for an unrelated disease.

According to an article in this week's New Scientist magazine, other tests on mice have seen personality traits being passed on.

Which all leads us to an idea from the seemingly enterprising Dr Emma Allen-Vercoe of the University of Guelph in Canada, who says that people should think carefully about who they want their donor to be.

She told the magazine her ideal donor would be the "thinnest, nicest person who eats well" and added that celebrities may even start to sell their faeces to adoring fans for a healthy profit.

It sounds ridiculous, but I bet you someone will do it.

  • Dr Emma Allen-Vercoe

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