Overselling the microbiome award: Mercola/Perlmutter on fecal transplants for severe neurological dysfunction

Well, this is pretty scary.

An automated Google Search I have picked up a hit to an article by Mercola about an interview he did with David Perlmutter: Key Dietary Strategies to Protect Yourself from Alzheimer’s : Natural Wellness Review

And the article covers many topics but one is pretty over the top.  There is a section on recommendations by Dr. Perlmutter to promote brain health.  And one of them is quoted below:

Fecal transplantation, in cases of severe neurological dysfunction where poor gut flora appears to be a contributing factor. Your microbiome is critical for multiple reasons, including regulating the set point of inflammation, producing neurotransmitters like serotonin, and modulating systems associated with brain function and brain health. This form of therapy is now the standard of care for life-threatening C. difficile infections.

Yup.  He is recommending fecla transplants to treat severe neurological dysfunction.  Not the first person to suggest a connection between microbes and neurology.  Not the first person to say that maybe trying to change the microbiome might be an interesting thing to test as a treatment for some issues.  But with no caveats here they just jump right in to using this to treat neurological dysfunction.  This is just grossly over the top and will likely mislead many many people with neurological dysfunctions into thinking fecal transplants are a known effective treatment.  I wonder if Dr. Perlmutter will start offerring home fecal transplant kits for sale on his web site (which I will not link to here).

Now, I think microbes are important.  And I think there is potential here for fecal transplants for a lot of issues.  But potential is different than proven.  By a long show.  And people like Mercola and Dr. Perlmutter should be ashamed for misleading people like this.  And thus they are today’s winners of an “Overselling the Microbiome” award.

5 thoughts on “Overselling the microbiome award: Mercola/Perlmutter on fecal transplants for severe neurological dysfunction

  1. There have been many studies showing (in mice and rats) that altering the gut biome can suppress or exacerbate symptoms in rodent models of neurological conditions, particularly in de-myelinating diseases like MS. So, he's not that far off.

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  2. Also fecal transplants far from risk-free: people may asymptomically harbor viral and bacterial pathogens which can cause acute infectious disease in patients upon transplantation.

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