From a very early age, poop is synonymous with dirty and unclean.
For humans, poop has been associated with dirt and uncleanliness since time immemorial, and many pathogens are actually present in it.
However, there are actually cases where poop has been used as medicine. I’m not talking about the folklore of feeding poop water to the guilty, I’m talking about animals.
The koala, a very cute animal that lives in Australia, has evolved to eat eucalyptus.
However, this eucalyptus is a poisonous plant and is not eaten by anyone but koalas.
But there are koalas that can’t even eat eucalyptus, and the secret is in their gut microbiome.
When koalas have babies, they have a bizarre behavior of feeding them their mother’s poop.
But if the mother can’t feed the baby that poop, the baby can’t eat eucalyptus.
They can’t even eat the leaves of other species of eucalyptus because their gut microbes have something that detoxifies the poison in eucalyptus.
Koalas are very selective about the species and individual trees they will eat,
To digest eucalyptus leaves, koalas rely on the help of bacteria in their digestive system (gut microbes) that help break down the tough, nutrient-poor leaves of their favorite tree species.
Other common childhood behaviors include pooping, an act that involves both nutrition and the transfer of gut bacteria, and rabbits will even pack their young’s poop separately.
Many scientists studying rosacea take inspiration from these animals.
We still haven’t unlocked all the secrets in the koala’s gut microbiome, but there are definitely secrets in there.
and that if we can unlock them, a new medical revolution is possible in humans, also through the gut microbiome.
I’m voting with my feet……