Rise of the “Crapsule” — The Pill That Could Provide Hope To Those With Liver Disease

A pill filled with poo designed to boost gut health and prevent serious infections is being given to hundreds of people as part of a liver disease clinical trial. In the past, patients with advanced liver cirrhosis had the “poo transplant” delivered to their stomachs via a tube down their nose. After 3 months, levels of good bacteria in the gut increased and the gut barrier was strengthened. Now, a team of researchers at London’s King College have developed a “crapsule” — a tablet containing freeze-dried stool donated by healthy volunteers to make it easier to take. Researchers are now beginning a larger, 5-year study called PROMISE to see if taking the tablets every 3 months for 2 years can reduce hospital admissions. Scientists have shown that it’s a safe and easy procedure that actually changes the gut microbiome in patients with liver disease, potentially changing the outlook and outcomes for these patients. In the past, the only treatment for cirrhosis patients was a liver transplant. The “crapsules,” which have no taste or smell, may offer new hope for patients with cirrhosis who are out of treatment options.