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Why Do It?

Fecal microbiome transplants are more often being used to treat recurrent Clostridium difficile infections, the New York Times reports, adding that this has spurred Canadian researchers to investigate why someone would become a stool donor.

Researchers from the University of Alberta surveyed 802 people in the United States, Canada, and UK about whether they would be willing to be a stool donor. According to the Times, the researchers presented their results, which found that both altruism and economic compensation were the main drivers of being willing to donor, at Digestive Disease Week. Disincentives to participating, they found, were the need to donate frequently and the logistics of doing so.

One stool donor tells the Times that he has made stopping by the nonprofit stool bank OpenBiome part of his daily routine. "To do something as simple as going in and making a stool donation, and know that it can literally change someone's life from one day to the next … to see that impact makes me feel good," he says.