Want to help science? Send your poo to these researchers

Sebastian Kaulitzki via Getty Images The “Le French Gut” project has called for the French to send samples of their faeces.

Sebastian Kaulitzki via Getty Images

The “Le French Gut” project has called for the French to send samples of their faeces.

SCIENCE – 66 million different intestines. To better understand the bacteria and microbes that nestle in our intestinal microbiota, the “Le French Gut” project launched an appeal, this Friday, September 16, for the French to send samples of their faecal matter. Led by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae), Paris hospitals and AgroParisTech, the study hopes to collect 100,000 faecal samples by 2027.

The objective of this project is to map the intestinal microbiota of the French. The latter, often compared to a “second brain”, plays a major role in immune, neurological or digestive functions, recalls Science and Future. A better understanding of how it works could help explain how certain pathologies such as diabetes, Crohn’s disease or cancer can arise.

Participatory science

But for that, the scientists need the help of the French. A preliminary phase of their research consists of collecting 3,000 samples of faecal matter in 2022. Nothing could be simpler if you want to participate: go to the frenchgut.fr website and click on “Join the project”. All you have to do is create an account and answer a ten-minute questionnaire about your lifestyle and your eating habits. A few days of waiting and you will receive a kit to collect your stools directly from your home, accompanied by a user guide to find out how to send them by post.

On the other hand, you cannot participate if you are a minor and/or carrier of certain diseases, in particular digestive ones. In addition, only residents of metropolitan France can make this donation.

Better fight against chronic diseases

“With the help of the French, a lot of scientific knowledge will be generated”, assures on its site the Inrae. This research will help define a “personalized preventive nutrition” for certain pathologies and “combat chronic diseases”. The science of the microbiota is really essential to open up new preventive and therapeutic avenues”added microbiota expert researcher Joël Doré, during a press conference.

The “Le French Gut” project is part of a global study, theMillion Microbiome of Humans Project”. According to our colleagues from ReleaseChina, Denmark, Sweden and Estonia have already taken part in this international microbiota database, the first results of which are expected in 2024.

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