What is a Fecal Transplant?
A fecal transplant, also known as fecal bacteriotherapy, is the process of restoring the bacteria commonly found in the digestive tract with an infusion of feces (stool) from a donor. While this sounds like a very strange concept, it is important to remember that our bodies require bacteria to digest food. Bacteria also helps maintain a normal movement of food and stool through the gut. When the bacteria in the digestive tract is destroyed, it can be very difficult to get back.
Fecal Bacteria - Normal Flora
The average person has hundreds of types of bacteria in the digestive tract. While it is possible to live without these bacteria, known as normal flora or digestive flora, they are extremely useful to the body. These "good" bacteria help prevent overgrowth of bad bacteria, can enhance the immune system, and play a role in breaking down some types of undigested carbohydrates.
When we are born, we have bacteria in our system that we receive from our mother, as sort of a "starter culture." If the destruction of bacteria is severe enough, there may not be enough to grow back to normal levels without taking someone else's normal flora as a second starter culture.