FEB 04, 2018 3:49 PM PST

The Potential Health Benefits of Parasitic Worms

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Some researchers have suggested that we can live in environments that are so clean, they are detrimental to our health. Studies have shown that when kids who are raised in cleaner conditions are then exposed to germs, it can lead to chronic illnesses like asthma. That said, it is of course still necessary to protect children from serious pathogens by vaccinating them and keeping them clean, though outdoor play is encouraged.

Exposure to microbes outdoors can have a variety of effects. Some have even suggested that certain microorganisms are beneficial to us. While it seems like a radical idea, parasitic worms that live in the gut seem to be good at preventing or even fixing problems with the immune system.

When the immune system mistakes native cells as foreign invaders, it can have devastating effects. Multiple sclerosis is such a disease; arthritis is another example. While there are currently clinical trials involving worms as a therapeutic, it's not a good idea to delve into such a prospect without the guidance of a doctor. There are serious risks, even if you do have the right type of worm.
About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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