Finding the Perfect Stool . . . Donor

Finding the Perfect Stool. . . . Donor

Adapted from episode 113 of The Perfect Stool podcast and edited for readability, with Michael Harrop of HumanMicrobes.org.

Lindsey: 

So I had you on episode five of The Perfect Stool when I was just starting out, where you described doing 9 Do It Yourself fecal transplants on yourself using various donors and your efforts to find the perfect donor and the things that you had done at that point. So I thought this would be a great time to do an update and hear what you’ve been working on. And if you’ve had any changes to your health, so why don’t we start there with your health? And if you can just briefly describe what conditions you would say you had at the last time we spoke and what has changed since then, and how you did it.

Michael Harrop: 

Well I’ve had irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome for most of my life, those are the main things that I’m trying to treat. I can’t remember actually what exactly was different since the last time; there have been like so many different ups and downs. But mild Alzheimer’s symptoms is also something I’m dealing with now, in recent years.

Lindsey: 

Like brain fog type of thing, or memory loss?

Michael Harrop: 

So there’s actually some really interesting papers on the connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s. And they call it type three diabetes, I think. And based on the symptoms of what they’re describing, that’s what I have, a mild version of that.

Lindsey: 

Do you also have issues with blood sugar regulation?

Michael Harrop: 

Not yet that I know of.

Lindsey: 

Okay. So, last time, we had talked, you had done nine fecal transplants, have you done more since then?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I’ve definitely done more.

Lindsey: 

How many are you up to?

Michael Harrop: 

I think I’m around like 14 or 15 different donors at this point.

Lindsey: 

Okay. Multiple times with single donors?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, many FMTs from each of those donors.

Lindsey: 

Okay. And so did you have any successful ones?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I did. I actually pretty much cured my irritable bowel syndrome from one of them. And then I tried another one, which I thought was a 1 in a 100,000 donor. And they turned out to be detrimental for me. And they reversed most of the benefits that I got. And then I continued on with other donors, and I saw continued improvements with them.

Lindsey: 

And was your IBS more of an IBS-D type or IBS-C type?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, it was IBS-C, and then I took an antibiotic called Rifaximin. And it changed to IBS-D. And also I was unable to tolerate proteins and fats.

Lindsey: 

That’s a big part of the diet.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah.

Lindsey: 

Okay. And now, can you?

Michael Harrop: 

So the donor that cured my IBS, they allowed me to reintroduce protein and fat for the first time in a very long time. Other donors were able to restore the fat tolerance, but not the protein so much. At this point, I am still able to tolerate fat, but I haven’t really tried high protein stuff. I don’t have a craving for it.

Lindsey: 

So you just eat primarily a diet of what?

Michael Harrop: 

My diet right now is, almond milk, malto meal, butter, cheese, fruits, sweet potatoes. Yeah, that’s my diet today.

Lindsey: 

Okay, and where did you find the donors that you used?

Michael Harrop: 

So in the past, I was just individually trying to find donors. I was going to friends, family, I was passing out flyers at local universities, going online to whatever communities. I was even trying online dating profiles to try to find donors. So I was trying everything I could think of. And eventually, I started up a website called humanmicrobes.org. To officially go into it. And I tried to get the community involved in it at first, because there were hundreds of other people also trying to find a high quality donor. But that didn’t seem too effective. I assumed that people would be enthusiastic about helping and trying to work together to find good donors. But, you know, they didn’t really seem to get involved much.

Lindsey: 

Like you wanted other people to help review applications or . . . ?

Michael Harrop: 

No, just help spread flyers. Help give advice on how we should go about this, designing of the website and recruiting donors methods and stuff. So when that didn’t work, I decided to try to raise the prices that we were charging recipients and also paying out to donors. And that seemed to be pretty effective. At that point there were only maybe around 25,000 applicants. And then as soon as I raised prices and payouts, we started getting these huge influxes of hundreds of thousands of applicants. And currently, we’re up at almost nearly a million donor applicants.

Lindsey: 

Wow, how in the world do you screen that? Do you have some sort of a computer program that helps screen?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, so thankfully, one of the other IBS patients helped me. They set up a spreadsheet, Excel program that I just input the data into there, and it scores it automatically. So I can score about 10,000 at a time. And that’s really, really helpful.

Lindsey: 

Oh, cool.

Michael Harrop: 

I wouldn’t have been able to do it without that, I’m sure.

Lindsey: 

And so do you feel confident that people are answering questions, honestly?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, for the most part, people seem to be doing it honestly. But even for the ones that don’t, it’s not really a big concern, because there are other steps that are arguably more important, which is verification of stool type and physical fitness. So even with most people that pass the screening questionnaire, most of them don’t pass the stool and physical fitness verification point.

Lindsey: 

So did they send a photo of the stool?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, we asked for a few days of consecutive samples, along with some physical fitness photos.

Lindsey: 

So stool sample photos.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, right.

Lindsey: 

Okay. And then at that point, you’re eliminating them if they’re not fit enough, or they’re stool doesn’t look perfect Bristol, type 3 or 4 kind of thing?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, so I’m actually looking for some very specific stool type, stool characteristics. It’s more complex than the Bristol stool chart. But that chart is very useful as a basic outline.

Lindsey: 

So what does the perfect stool look like to you?

Michael Harrop: 

You know, it’s not something that I advertise because I want people to just submit the most accurate photos.

Lindsey: 

Okay, fair enough. So how many people have gotten beyond the initial screen, and then the second level of screening?

Michael Harrop: 

So about 10 to 20%, pass the questionnaire and go on to the stool and fitness verification. And then from that, I would say, a majority that turn in their submissions either don’t rank high or don’t pass.

Lindsey: 

Okay, and how much were you offering to pay donors for each sample?

Michael Harrop: 

We are currently offering $500 per sample.

Lindsey: 

Okay, and how much are you charging recipients?

Michael Harrop: 

$1,000.

Lindsey: 

Okay. So, how many people actually have gotten through and qualified as donors?

Michael Harrop: 

So we have a list of potential donors that we send out to recipients and recipients get to choose from that list. It kind of depends on supply and demand. I have thousands of possible donors. But right now, there’s only demand for a handful of the very top donors.

Lindsey: 

And have they already had their stool sequenced, or what testing are you using after that?

Michael Harrop: 

So we’re just using the basic recommended tests, which are just pathogens. The other stool tests, I don’t find them very useful.

Lindsey: 

So you’re just doing like, basic GI pathogens plus, are you doing blood testing for infectious diseases and STIs and such?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, exactly.

Lindsey: 

Yeah. Okay. So the donors have to do those at their own expense to be donors and to be on the list?

Michael Harrop: 

No, no, we cover all the costs associated with applying to be a donor.

Lindsey: 

Oh, okay. So by the time they get through the process, then they have the opportunity to make money but no cost to them to apply. Yeah, that’s correct. Okay. Interesting. And so how many people have you been able to recommend, where there’s been a connection between a donor and a recipient?

Michael Harrop: 

Currently, we have three or four donors that have sent out shipments to recipients.

Lindsey: 

To how many different recipients?

Michael Harrop: 

Well, the two most active ones have sent out to over 100, maybe like one to 200 different recipients?

Lindsey: 

Wow. And so are they putting their stool on dry ice? Or what’s the procedure for their stool donation?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, so they just collect it in a Ziploc bag. And then, depending on what the recipient orders, they’ll then process into capsules, perhaps or maybe an enema solution.

Lindsey: 

The donors will do this?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, we teach the donors how to process their own stool.

Lindsey: 

Wow, okay. So the recipients have the option for capsules and the option for . . .

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, recipients can basically choose. We really give a lot of leeway to recipients to customize their orders however they want.

Lindsey: 

And for the enemas, are they mixing that with anything or is it just straight stool?

Michael Harrop: 

That’s all optional. It’s really up to the recipient. By default we do saline with an antifreeze, either maltodextrin or glycerol.

Lindsey: 

Okay. And those are things people can just buy online or where do they get ahold of those things?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, they’re very easy to obtain. Maltodextrin is a supplement and . . .

Lindsey: 

 . . . food additive. Yeah. Okay. And what kind of success have you heard about? Do you keep, I assume you keep track of that when you have a recipient?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, we’re actually the only source of stool donors that’s publicly tracking and reporting results.  So anyone can go on our website and see what other recipients have, what results they’ve gotten. Most people I would say, are either getting mild improvements or no improvement. Very few people have adverse events.

Lindsey: 

And what are the typical conditions that people are looking for stool donations for?

Michael Harrop: 

It’s usually a wide variety of general symptoms. I guess bowel problems are a common one, but not a primary one, I would say.

Lindsey: 

Are there a lot of people with say, chronic fatigue looking, or with other sorts of chronic conditions?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, it’s a wide variety of chronic conditions really.

Lindsey: 

Do you have some sort of database or catalog so that you can systematize the responses and analyze them statistically?

Michael Harrop: 

I’m not doing any kind of statistical analysis on our results. But since they’re public, anyone is able to analyze them.

Lindsey: 

But in terms of the conditions, do you have specific condition lists or specific symptom lists, or are people just describing their own conditions?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, they’re just describing them however they want.

Lindsey: 

Okay. And you mentioned a few adverse events. What kind of adverse events have you seen?

Michael Harrop: 

The one I remember is someone just got generally worse. And then I think the worst rating someone gave to a donor was because they got severely constipated. I think those are the only two. They are probably some where they just got generally worse.

Lindsey: 

And so you weren’t doing any metagenomic sequencing or anything like that of the stool? So what the contents were of the stool is sort of still a mystery?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, it’s largely a mystery. But I think for both of our active donors, or the two most active ones, we did the GI Map. And that comes with a few other test results on the gut microbiome makeup, I don’t find it particularly useful.

Lindsey: 

Why is that?

Michael Harrop: 

Most of those tests are not actionable, and current knowledge is just too limited to do anything with that information. And the information itself is not very useful. It mostly gives information on the genus level or the species level. And there’s just not much you can do with that kind of information.

Lindsey: 

What kind of information would you like to see on a stool test that would be more actionable?

Michael Harrop: 

I mean, I just don’t think it’s possible with current knowledge, even if you . . . I think Viome might be one that gives the strain info. But even with their tests, and that kind of info, there’s just not really anything you can do with it.

Lindsey: 

Because the research is just so early in most strains that are in the gut microbiome?

Michael Harrop: 

Right, there’s just no information out there of what you should do, what’s good, what’s bad, because it’s just a very complex ecosystem that interacts together. So maybe you have one strain, if you label it good. But what if it’s not interacting with another strain, then maybe that changes it, and now, it’s bad. So it’s just really complex, and so much is unknown.

Lindsey: 

Do you see hope in the future given the rise of Chat GPT and these AI tools for perhaps being able to get further along in integrating the microbiome research?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I think AI is the only hope for that.

Lindsey: 

Yeah. It’s so complex.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, there’s too much information for humans to process. It would definitely have to be a computer.

Lindsey: 

I’ve done various stool tests over the years. I think I did one, maybe Genova GI Effects with a functional medicine doctor years ago. And then when UBiome was an entity, I did a couple of theirs. And then I did a Thorne, which had meta genomic sequencing. But at some point, I realized . . .  oh, and I did one with Biohm. And I realized at one point that there was some 60% that was just not mentioned. And those were the strains that had no name or description. I was like, wait a second, so we don’t actually know what 60% of this is? So we’ve got all these tools in which we’re sure that this thing is a major component of the gut microbiome, it’s super important. But the other 60%, we can’t even identify? So yeah, I guess it is really. . . I mean, I do find some useful things personally, in working with clients on the GI Map, in particular the intestinal health markers, because you can at least see, you know, how’s their output of pancreatic enzymes or their Secretory IgA, so you can get some sense of whether their gut is dysfunctioning and in what way? But yeah, how different microbes interact, and what to do to bring up one microbe, break down another, is still very much only at the beginnings of study for relatively few microbes that are particularly well known. So tell me about what you think about antibiotics and how that relates to people’s gut microbiome?

Michael Harrop: 

I think they’re overused, severely. Many of the current studies put it at like 30 to 50% overuse. And that’s according to current guidelines, which I think are way too lenient. So it’s probably way higher than that. And one frustrating way that that’s manifested is that I recently screened a donor that is basically like a one in a million. And they would have had zero lifetime antibiotic use, if not for a week’s use after a dental appointment. And that’s actually one instance, dentistry, where dentists are giving out antibiotics where . . .

Lindsey: 

prophylactically . . .

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, it’s not an evidence-based use. They’re just giving it out because . . . I don’t know why.

Lindsey: 

Heart murmurs and things like that. I’ve had that before, because I have a super subtle heart murmur. And you’ll only even hear it if I’m lying down. And all of a sudden, I mentioned this, and then I start getting recommendations for prophylactic use of antibiotics. And I’m like, hold your horses. I’ve been having dentist appointments my entire life, and I haven’t had any antibiotics. I don’t intend to start now.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I think it even goes beyond that. There were some papers and articles by some reputable websites, where they covered doctors just giving it out where there is no evidence-based use for it at all. So that’s really frustrating to see, especially now that it’s actually interfering with what I’m trying to do with getting super high quality donors that can potentially reverse the effects of antibiotics. Now, this one, the super rare one has been unnecessarily damaged. So that’s kind of frustrating.

Lindsey: 

This was somebody who, while you were screening them, had to go and get antibiotics.

Michael Harrop: 

No, they got them prior to me screening them. So hopefully, in the future, I can let them know that this is not really an evidence-based use of antibiotics. So you can probably ask your dentist next time, “is this really necessary?” And if you say it is then, what are you basing that on?

Lindsey: 

But you don’t allow any donor who’s had antibiotics at all?

Michael Harrop: 

I wish I could have a rule like that. But no, that’s so rare to find someone that’s never taken them. So I can’t really impose that.

Lindsey: 

Yeah. I think one of my children, I think my older son, but I wouldn’t recommend his stool. But I think my oldest son has never had antibiotics.

Michael Harrop: 

That’s nice. Yeah. I think it’s quite strange how there’s this huge anti-vaccine movement, but there’s no anti-antibiotic movement, because the scientific consensus on vaccines seem to seems to be pretty strong in favor of them. However, there’s a pretty strong scientific body of literature showing the harms of antibiotics. So that’s something I find pretty strange.

Lindsey: 

I think there is a reasonable anti-antibiotic movement amongst people who are gut microbiome enthusiasts and naturopaths. And that sort of thing. But it’s not anti for any use, of course, because obviously people can die from the infections that antibiotics help them with. I know that for the resistant strains of bacteria, that are resistant to different antibiotics, there’s phage therapy and I have tried to get somebody on here to talk about phage therapy, but that doesn’t seem like a super available alternative to most people.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, it’s still really early in the research.

Lindsey: 

Yeah. So with your donors, the recipients, do you recommend a protocol of a certain number of donations, a certain number of times, antibiotic pretreatment, etc.?

Michael Harrop: 

I don’t like to give recommendations because I’m not a doctor. And we try to avoid giving out anything that may be construed as medical advice. But I do have humanmicrobiome.info, which is a website that anyone can use to see what the latest research is on a wide variety of topics related to the gut microbiome. So I recommend that people go there.

Lindsey: 

So you keep that separate from Human Microbes just so there’s no conflict?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I try to keep them. . .

Lindsey: 

. . . liability. Yeah. Okay. Now I know that you have for so many years been documenting research on the microbiome and on fecal transplants, and how do you keep up with all that research?

Michael Harrop: 

It’s just like a daily ongoing thing that I’ve been doing for many years.

Lindsey: 

And at the time we last spoke, you’d left high school and hadn’t been able to further your education or anything because of your physical issues. Is that still the case? You’re just self-taught on the microbiome and reading science and such?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, that’s exactly it, yeah. I’m still not able to do much.

Lindsey: 

You’re on disability?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I’m getting off because I’m making enough money from my business now. But I’m still kind of homebound.

Lindsey: 

Right, right. And you look very pale to me. Do you get out in the sun ever?

Michael Harrop: 

Exactly. Pretty rarely. Yeah. Oh, actually, one antibiotic I took damaged my skin and made it more susceptible to sun damage. So ever since then, I’ve actually had to avoid the sun more.

Lindsey: 

So when we last spoke, I am sure I must have asked you about this. But I’m wondering if anything has changed since. Have you gone through functional medicine testing and providers at all to see if there might be other ways that you can attack your problems?

Michael Harrop: 

So in the past, I spent a decade or more just going to whatever doctors I could, and basically they did what they could and I basically learned at the end that they’re really limited in what knowledge and capabilities they have. So it’s up to me to figure out stuff and the gut microbiome may be a solution. But doctors don’t really have very many tools to diagnose and correct a gut microbiome yet.

Lindsey: 

And do you take supplements or do things to help your health?

Michael Harrop: 

Personally, I’m very limited on the supplements I’m currently taking. I’m just taking zinc and iron, just really basic stuff. I’ve experimented with a lot more supplements in the past. But currently, I’m not really seeing any benefits, any big benefits from most of them.

Lindsey: 

Okay. Just curious. So any anecdotes or stories you have from donors or recipients that are worth sharing?

Michael Harrop: 

Well, the best result actually came from someone with severe eczema. They said they completely cured it. And we haven’t actually had that many people with eczema or other skin diseases do FMT from our donors. So it’s very possible that we actually currently have a cure for severe skin disorders. But we don’t really know because we don’t have enough recipients trying it.

Lindsey: 

Right, interesting. So in your materials online, at Human Microbes, can people find the person with eczema and find the donor and be able to say, I’d like that same donor?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, they can definitely do that.

Lindsey: 

Wow, that’s great. I’ll definitely have to tool around the website and look at that. And we can link to that and then also the HumanMicrobiome.info site. Any other sites that you maintain or have to share info?

Michael Harrop: 

Those are the primary ones. Yeah, it’s mostly those two, and I recently set up a forum on the HumanMicrobiome.info website.

Lindsey: 

So people can talk to each other?

Michael Harrop: 

Exactly.

Lindsey: 

Okay. And you also are pretty active on Reddit, right?

Michael Harrop: 

Not anymore. Not anymore. And I recommend people avoid that website, actually.

Lindsey: 

Oh really, why’s that?

Michael Harrop: 

I set up the forum to allow people to get off that website.

Lindsey: 

Okay, how come?

Michael Harrop: 

They’ve been going on the path of pursuing profit at all costs, and they’ve been degrading their site in that process. And it’s just become a really problematic site in so many ways. I wrote a blog with more info about that.

Lindsey: 

So like through advertisements and paid posts, and that kind of thing, or . . .

Michael Harrop: 

No. I feel like there’s really nothing trustworthy on that site anymore. It just seems like so much bots, astroturfing.

Lindsey: 

What’s that?

Michael Harrop: 

Astroturfing is when special interests try to manipulate content in a seemingly organic way.

Lindsey: 

Okay, yeah, that’s sort of inevitable in any of these tools, right?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, but it seems like a big site like Reddit really attracts that type of manipulation. And the Reddit admins don’t really seem interested or able to control manipulation of content on their website.

Lindsey: 

So you don’t maintain the microbiome Reddit or . . .

Michael Harrop: 

No, I’m pretty much off of Reddit completely right now.

Lindsey: 

Okay, you handed it over to somebody else?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, it’s just being modded and kind of referencing the forum. Let people know that they can go to the forum now.

Lindsey: 

Okay, that’s good to know. So what are your plans for the future, personally and professionally?

Michael Harrop: 

That’s a big one. So at this point, I’ve really done most of what I can on my own. It would be really helpful to get funding for an AI to allow the whole screening process to go through an AI. It’s very difficult. I can’t really pass on most of the screening to another person. And it’s very difficult for a single person to screen almost a million donor applicants at this point. And an AI might be able to learn new things as well, and probably do a better job than me even at the screening process. So would it be great to get funding for that.

Lindsey: 

Are your donors coming from multiple countries? Or where are your current donors?

Michael Harrop: 

Most of the donors are coming from viral social media videos. So it’s all over the world. In the past, I tried to reach out specifically to top professional and college athletes. And I did contact a few hundred, and got a few applicants from that, but none of them really ranked high. And currently, I’m trying another attempt to contacting top professional athletes; I would welcome help.

Lindsey: 

So if somebody is sending from a different country, that’s got to add up in terms of the costs of mailing, no?

Michael Harrop: 

Well, our donors mail directly to recipients. So it doesn’t really matter where in the world you live, it’s pretty much the same no matter where they are.

Lindsey: 

I mean, how do they keep the sample viable, for whatever length of time it takes the mail?

Michael Harrop: 

Generally, they’ll just store them in their home freezer. But recipients can customize their orders, the donor can store it on dry ice immediately, possibly even other things if the recipient needed.

Lindsey: 

So they’re storing it in their freezer, and then putting it in the mail for how long?

Michael Harrop: 

We do all shipments via dry ice. And usually they will ship around the world in under five days. So we keep them on dry ice all the time.

Lindsey: 

So dry ice holds out that long?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah.

Lindsey: 

Okay. But you don’t do the shipping. They ship. You’re saying they ship it directly?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, our donors ship directly to recipient.

Lindsey: 

Right. Okay. Well, this is an amazing service that you’re providing for the world. I know that I, for a long time, was really fixated on fecal transplants and the potential they offered. I think they still are a potential goldmine of cures, but I think we are we are still far away from the point of being able to say, well, this is the exact donor for you, which I think is the complex part, right? Because you have these positive effects from one donor that appears not as good as the next donor, and then you have negative effects from that donor. So that’s the tricky part, right? It’s, well I’m deficient in butyrate producers, I need someone who’s really rich in those or I’m deficient in, you know, some other type of microbe or function.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, possibly. But so far, from what I’ve seen from both our donors, and just other reports that people are sharing from either their personal donors or other donor sources, it seems like donor quality is more important than donor matching. But of course, donor matching does have some importance. But if we can find a 10 out of 10 donor, then possibly donor matching won’t matter at all. But we don’t really know yet, because I haven’t found a donor of that quality.

Lindsey: 

What makes you call a donor, a 10 out of 10, something from the original screening or . . . ?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, so it’s basically the specific criteria that I’m looking for. It’s mostly actually a very, very specific stool type. And I haven’t really found that yet. One interesting tidbit is that, since we pay so much more than everyone else, like virtually every donor that’s been covered in the news, has applied to Human Microbes. And donors from all major clinics, stool banks and companies, they’ve all applied and the vast majority of them either don’t qualify or don’t rank high. I think that only a single donor ranked in the top tier. And that was actually a surprise for me. There’s one donor that’s kind of famous and they didn’t rank high.

Lindsey: 

Has the word gotten out in developing countries where there’s a lot less perhaps use of antibiotics or people who are more isolated from Western diets?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah. That’s an interesting question actually, that a lot of people wonder about. It has a lot of problems going that route. The first problem is developing countries are now overrun with antibiotic overuse, because they can get them over the counter. And then another problem is that even as you go to very secluded tribes like the Hadza, which many researchers are doing, they have pathogens from their environment. So it’s not necessarily a great source of FMT. And even if they were, the logistics would be very difficult. Sure, and actually, one of my recipients has gone to the Hadza personally, and did FMT from them. And from what I recall, he got temporary benefits, which were pretty substantial. But then, his long term results were quite poor. And he thinks it was because of their pathogens. He did some testing when he got home, and he tested positive for a wide variety of pathogens.

Lindsey: 

Right, right, which they would otherwise be protected for, perhaps because of who knows what else like? I know a lot of a lot of there’s a lot of theory around worms, that worms are a natural part of the human microbiome and prevent, say, allergic reactions to things and people use helminth worms for treating various conditions.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, the helminth community is pretty interesting. A lot of people decide to do that. There seems to be more research on FMT, though, then helminths?

Lindsey: 

Yeah, I was trying to get somebody on to talk about that as well. But they backed out and disappeared.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, the recipient who went to the Hadza actually got better results from my donor. And it seems because my donors are generally safer, pathogen free.

Lindsey: 

Right, right. Yeah. Well, this is all interesting stuff you’re doing and I’m sure that many people appreciate this access to donors, because otherwise they’re not findable. So thank you for your service to the world.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, absolutely. And I welcome the participation from organizations, philanthropic organizations, such as the Gates Foundation. I would love it if they would help out. Yeah, I think FMT is actually something that would be right up their alley of what they are trying to pursue. And not a lot of other organizations are pursuing FMT, because there’s not much profit to be made. So hopefully, the Gates Foundation is an organization that doesn’t need to pursue profit. So it seems like something that would be good for them.

Lindsey: 

Have you reached out to them?

Michael Harrop: 

I looked into it before, and it’s something that you have to apply for funding, I’m not sure that I would qualify for funding, they don’t offer just general help. They offer funding for big projects.

Lindsey: 

Yeah, I think they’re pretty large scale.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I did reach out on Twitter recently, though.

Lindsey: 

Yeah, I think maybe a smaller foundation that’s a little bit more out there about what they’re willing to do. But there’s probably plenty of risks, and they probably would want universities to be involved and the approval of medical boards and all that. So that’s the tricky stuff with funding. But it sounds like though, that you’re getting a decent amount of funding now, just via the donations and the recipients in the project itself.

Michael Harrop: 

Well, it’s actually not that much, just like enough for basically one person to get minimum wage. As demand increases, it can increase as well.

Lindsey: 

Well, I hope it works out and you find your 10 out of 10 donor and are able to completely recover your health. You look at you look a little better to me than the first time I interviewed you, you sound a little bit stronger. So I hope that’s not just my impression, but the reality.

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I’m not really sure. There’s so many ups and downs that it’s hard to keep track of, but I do publish my detailed results that other people can look through.

Lindsey: 

Okay, is that humanmicrobiome.info?

Michael Harrop: 

Yeah, I publish them on the forum and then also know that I’m using the Human Microbiome donors; all my results are up there as well.

If you are struggling with bloating, gas, burping, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, soft stool, acid reflux, IBS, IBD, SIBO, candida overgrowth, fatigue or migraines and want to get to the bottom of it, that’s what I help my clients with. You’re welcome to set up a free, 30-minute breakthrough session with me. We’ll talk about what you’ve been going through and I’ll tell you about my 3- and 5- appointment health coaching programs in which I recommend lab tests, educate you on what the results mean and the protocols used by doctors to fix the problems revealed. Or if you’re ready to jump in right away or can just afford one appointment at a time, you can set up an 1-hour consultation with me. 

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