Forget young blood! You want young poop!

  • Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMTs) is a procedure that transfers the stool of healthy people to the guts of sick people. The mechanism is to replace a dysbiotic gut microbiome with a healthier, disease-resistant, more youthful gut microbiome. 
  • Since the gut microbiome impacts and regulates virtually every aspect of human health, function, and development, FMT is a promising treatment for a very wide range of chronic and acute health conditions. See e.g. here and here.
  • At this point it seems clear that FMTs from young donors do have certain anti-aging effects for older recipients! The gut microbiome declines with age, contributing to inflamaging and all sorts of other problems. Keeping the microbiome young and healthy is therefore well worth it. And by far the best way to do so are FMTs from young donors.
  • It’s possible to do FMTs easily and safely at home. But it shouldn’t be taken too lightly, and getting medical oversight is always a good idea. You just need a high quality donor (very rare), screen them for various transmittable diseases, get the stool from them and follow a good DIY FMT process.
  • I therefore recommend the following: Try to find healthy young donors and get FMTs from them to receive anti-aging benefits!
  • About-to-be parents are presented with a particularly nice opportunity: If they take certain active measures to make sure their child has a good microbiome (which is well worth it just for their child’s sake alone!!), they have a good chance for their child to be a decent FMT donor. I’ll explore this option more in a future post.
  • Anti-Aging is by far not the only good reason to improve your gut health via FMT and other measures. Since the gut microbiome has been shown to impact and regulate virtually every aspect of human health, development, and function, FMTs may be able to cure numerous acute and chronic illnesses - including many with no obvious gut connection at all. Beyond that, FMTs are promising to make people more than “merely not sick”. They can plausibly/probably make many people more energetic and improve their mental health, sleep, and cognitive functioning. I personally like to think of FMT as yet another form of biohacking. 
  • As I already explained in this post Being a donor for Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT): Do good & earn easy money (up to 180k/y): If you are young and exceptionally healthy you (or your child, if you planned for this from the start and took certain measures) can make a lot of money (500$ per donated stool) & do a lot of good by donating your stool.
  • If you can’t find an FMT donor yourself for stools, you can also buy them online. I’ve spent a lot of time looking into various providers, and the one I can recommend the most by far is Human Microbes. The website looks pretty unimpressive. It’s run by just one guy who really isn’t a great business person. But I had several calls and email exchanges with him and can attest that he is legit. My impression is that Human Microbes offers by far the best-quality stools, aka they have the strictest criteria to select only the healthiest donors with perfect microbiomes. They are AFAIK also the cheapest per stool, though it’s still $1000 per stool. They also have a great microbiome wiki.
  • The key bottleneck (even for Human Microbe) to all of this is finding young and healthy donors for FMTs. That’s why my main motivation to write this post is to spread the word and help find these donors! For example, Human Microbes claim to have received 400k+ donor applicants so far, and my understanding is that they are still not 100% satisfied with their top ranked donors.

In the rest of this post, I will

  • Make the case for FMT from young donors for anti-aging
  • Provide links to everything else you need to know if you want to get FMTs.

For many other relevant questions about FMT, please read my other post: Being a donor for Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT): Do good & earn easy money (up to 180k/y).

The case for FMTs from young donors for Anti-Aging

Rather than reinventing the wheel and writing this section myself, I’ll just link to relevant sources & articles.

But first I want to freely admit that the case for FMT as an Anti-aging treatment isn't super strong. This is still early in the research. My thinking about this is something like "FMT is safe and risk free, not that much effort, and may have some anti-aging effect. At a minimum, it will improve my gut health, which alone would make it well worth it for me." The cost-risk-benefit analysis is what makes FMT interesting to me.

quotes & links from 

Searching “FMT” on yields many positive results. Especially:

Here are some quotes from these links:

Detrimental changes in the gut microbiome might prove to be one of the easier issues to fix in the aging human body.”

“How to go about achieving the goal of putting a youthful microbiome into an old body? The approach with the most robust evidence in animal studies is fecal microbiota transplantation.”

“[FMT] restores a youthful microbiome for a lasting period of time, reduces inflammation, improves other measures of health, and in short-lived species acts to extend life span.”

“[FMT] is already practiced in human medicine, but only as a treatment for C. difficle infection, in which a pathogenic microbial species has overtaken the gut but can be out-competed by transplanted species. It would not be a great leap to adapt this to the treatment of aging.”

“FMT can reverse the aging of the gut microbiome, at least when carried out in animal studies, and as measured by the detrimental shift in microbial populations that takes place with age. Transplanting microbes from a young gut into an old gut reverses many of the alterations in relative abundance of specific microbial species, and has been shown to improve health and extend life span in some species.”

In Gain or Loss of Specific Microbial Species May Be a Better Measure of Gut Microbiome Aging, is is argued that “it is the gain and loss of specific populations with advancing age that produces contributions to aging”. 

More links

This page provides a lot of info and further links on the topic. Lots of linked papers there.

LifeXtenShow’s youtube video Are Microbes Making You Older?

Some reviews & papers on aging and gut health

A few papers on FMT for Anti-Aging

Everything else you need to know to get started with FMTs

Choosing a donor

For more info on this, read my other FMT post, especially for sources.

Donor criteria are still very much work in progress, but the following provide a good guess (most important ones first, but all are kind of important):

  • very good digestion and excellent poop consistently most of the time ( > 95%). Excellent poop means:
  • incredibly healthy: no illnesses, no allergies, no hay fever or anything like that, good skin, good dental hygiene, rarely ever being sick, etc..
  • Obviously, as young as possible (not just for anti-aging). At least under 30. Even infants can already be donors.
  • no antibiotic use for many years. Ideally never.
  • lots of physical and mental energy, athletic, usually "bursting with energy".
  • very healthy lifestyle: healthy diet, plenty of exercise, etc.
  • good mental health
  • a few more things to keep in mind

Screening your donor for parasites & disease

You need to test your donor thoroughly for anything that might infect you. Similar to how you would with a blood transfusion. FMT is only as safe as your donor is healthy.

Learn more on donor screening here.

Performing FMT at home

This Wiki has all the answers you need.

Here is a youtube video.

If you really do this, do some more research for yourself. But the following gives you an idea of what needs to happen:

Instructions for donor to collect the stool:

  • As quickly as possible, put the stool in a vacuum ziplock bag (e.g. this one. The vast majority of microbes in stool are anaerobic and you want to avoid them getting killed by oxygen.
  • Store stool in the freezer. Keep it frozen at all times.
  • It may be a good idea to use some antifreeze, e.g. glycerol. 

Instructions for getting FMT:

  • the “upper route”: orally
    • 10-40g of stool per day
    • fill the stool in empty pills (youtube has many instructions for this), or, if you can handle it, swallow pieces of frozen stool just like that.
    • best take stools on an empty stomach, e.g. right in the morning 30 min before your first meal.
    • You probably don’t need to use enteric coated capsules. You want to affect the upper intestine, too!
  • the lower route: rectally
  • general
    • start with very low doses. It is normal to feel rather sick at the beginning as your microbiome adjusts to the changes.
    •  For best results, combine upper and lower route: Take a few pills each morning and do the lower route 1-2 times per week, for several weeks or even months.

Help me!

I'm always looking for new FMT donors. In my case to treat my CFS. I also know lots of ppl looking for FMT donors. Please pm me if you think you are a good donor or if you are a (soon-to-be) parent up for this. I'm happy to pay or do whatever.


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6 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 12:06 PM

The FMT papers you listed have serious issues.

Let's start with Regular fecal microbiota transplantation to Senescence Accelerated Mouse-Prone 8 (SAMP8) mice delayed the aging of locomotor and exploration ability by rejuvenating the gut microbiota. I don't know how this passed peer review. The English is borderline unintelligible. Maybe it's because the editor was Dutch, which is basically mangled English? Chinese academia generally divides papers into two categories: busy work for meeting publication requirements and actual attempts at scientific advancement. You can generally tell if a paper is one of the former if minimal effort is made at making the English understandable, which is the case here. On the plus side, it points out a major issue with the other listed studies: they all use mice that were chronically treated with antibiotics. It claims to not do this. However, they used aging-accelerated mice. I'm guess they didn't want to spend too much time on the experiements?

They did 48 comparison for mobility. No correction for multiplicity, of course. This is sketchy. This is what you would do if you were intentionally trying to p-hack your way to a cool-sounding paper without even trying to hide it.

The other two, as mentioned, both use mice chronically administered antibiotics, explicitly to increase effect size. I'm... not enthused about this. Lab mice already live in immunologically very weird conditions. Fecal microbiota transfer between young and aged mice reverses hallmarks of the aging gut, eye, and brain [I goofed, it was actually the SAMP8 paper] even had the mice raised individually to prevent the natural exchange of gut microbiota! Mice normally engage in mutual coprophagy, so FMTs are actually something they do naturally (weirdly enough, these studies tend to show that younger mice with FMTs from older mice tend to have worse health outcomes). 

I honestly don't feel comfortable extending any of these findings to humans, since the conditions are so different. Bathrooms, especially public bathrooms where almost no one flush with the toilet lid down, are filled with aerosolized fecal particles. I was unable to find any studies on the transmission of fecal bacteria via aerosols, but I suspect we're already microdosing FMTs every time we enter a bathroom.

Is it possible to grow the microbes in a lab, after obtaining them? Then you would not need so many donors.

No. First of all we don't know which microbes and in which quantities we want. We have more or less no clue what constitutes a good microbiome. Bacteriophages also seem to play an important role that we know even less about. That's the beauty of FMT - we don't need to know!

Second, most microbes in the gut are anaerobic and thus cannot be grown easily. There is not a single anaerobic probiotic available at this point. That's why probiotics don't come even close to replacing something like FMT, which is done suh that bacteriophages and anaerobic microbes survive.

The problem of "growing artificial poop in the lab" for e.g. FMT pills, is similarly difficult/impossible at this point like growing ordinary "dirt".

This is one of those issues, where it's clear that Aubrey's list is missing elements of aging that do exist. 

Is there any information on durability of treatment and/or longevity in storage?  Is this something you'll need to do for a month every few years, or a one-time thing in your 40s, or some other periodicity?

More importantly, this isn't particularly high-tech, what's the reason it's not common among at least some sub-groups of people who could have socially discovered this anytime since disease pathways have been common knowledge?  

Re. your first question: Not really known, but you can make educated guesses after reading Human Microbes FMT wiki.

Second question: There is a pretty active FMT online community. E.g. there are several facebook groups. Ppl have been doing this privately for a while now.