Helminthic therapy for well people

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We refer to the deliberate hosting of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] as a therapy, but it is more than this. Evolution has determined that having a helminthAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]-rich microbiotaThe specific population of microorganisms living in a certain part of the body, such as the gut. "Microbiome" refers to all the microorganisms living in and on the body, or the genome of these microorganisms. These two terms are often used interchangeably. is the default state for humans, and it is already clear that there are many benefits to be gained from hosting helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] throughout life, even for people who are apparently in good health. This approach views helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] as being more like vitamins, and their absence as a helminth deficiency. Almost all who are living in industrialised countries today are helminthAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]-deficient.

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I think eventually, we’ll understand that helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] are just a normal part of the ecosystem of our body. And eventually, I think it’s going to go beyond just a therapy. I think it’ll be a kind of probioticMicroorganisms that are believed to provide health benefits when consumed. that people will be using just to maintain health.
(William Parker, Duke University.)

Since helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] are very effective in reducing inflammation, maintaining a small colony of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] could potentially help to prevent a whole slew of degenerative diseases and other conditions related to the silent, chronic, low-grade, systemic inflammation that exacts a relentless toll on our tissues [1] [2]

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All immunocompetent humans need regular exposure to helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] in order to maintain optimal immune function and avoid risk for inflammation-associated disease. This conclusion is based on “biota alteration theory”, the view that loss of biodiversity from the ecosystem of the human body as a result of industrialization has contributed to increased immune dysregulation and non-adaptive inflammation. In this view, exposure to helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] is a necessary component of our biology, and the essentially complete absence of those organisms is an underlying cause of inflammatory disease. Based on this view, we have argued that access to helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] is a basic human need. (Smyth et al, 2017)

There is mounting evidence to support this view, as can be seen from the following papers and articles.


Potentially reducible health risks

Allergy

Alopecia areata

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We have seen a link between AA and a dysfunctional gastrointestinal system which raised the hypothesis that an underlying intestinal inflammation drives the priming and dysregulation of immune cells that lead to hair follicle destruction. [3]

Alzheimer’s disease

Atherosclerosis

Chronic helminth infection may protect against atherosclerosis development via induction of anti-inflammatory responses and alteration of atherogenic biomarkers.

Autoimmune disease

Autism

When a mother's immune system is modulated by helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] during pregnancy, her children will likely have a reduced risk of developing autism.

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Given the vast body of scientific literature connecting impaired cognitive development and function with inflammation, it seems almost certain that normalization of immune function and reduction of inflammatory disease in the human population will result in dramatically decreased levels of a wide range of cognitive disorders, including autism. [4]

Cancer

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… specific pathogens may be able to elicit anti-tumor immune responses that can lead to protection from tumorigenesis or cancer regression.

Cardiovascular disease

Anti-inflammatory medication allowed patients with a history of heart attacks to enjoy a significantly lower incidence of recurrent cardiovascular events. [5]

Cognitive dysfunction

Dementia

Depression

Diabetes

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… methods designed to suppress excess production of pro-inflammatory cytokines may form a new approach to prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. [6]

Encephalitis

Encephalitis, or brain inflammation, causes fever, confusion, memory loss, psychosis and seizures. It can progress quickly over weeks or even days and may become life-threatening.

Whether this condition is caused by infection or autoimmunity, a helminth deficiency will arguably increase the risks, whereas helminth exposure may reduce them.

Helicobacter pylori infection

Hosting intestinal helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] may provide a buffering mechanism against the effects of H. pylori infection, alleviating the Th1-dependent response and protecting against inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract.

Heavy metal accumulation

Some helminth species may be able to remediate heavy metal accumulation in their hosts’ tissues.

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a pregnancy complication characterised by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possibly dehydration, [7] which is considered more severe than morning sickness. [8] In view of the fact that allergy is the most significant condition associated with HG prior to pregnancy [9] - which suggests a possible allergic or autoimmune component - it is possible that women who are hosting helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] might be less likely to develop HG.

Immune disorders

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBDInflammatory bowel disease is a group of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, particularly the colon and small intestine. The major types of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC).)

Helminth exposure may prevent IBDInflammatory bowel disease is a group of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, particularly the colon and small intestine. The major types of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC)..

Insulin resistance

Helminth infections are associated with lower insulin resistance.

Kidney pathology

A worm-derived immunomodulator protects against kidney damage in SLE.

Lifespan reduction

Macular degeneration

Malaria

Children with helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] may be less likely to contract malaria.

Hosting hookwormsA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. concurrently with one species of malaria can reduce the malaria burden by almost 50 percent.

Miscarriage

Many women who suffer recurrent miscarriages exhibit autoimmune phenomena similar to what is seen in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), and these women may be treated with prednisone to reduce inflammation.

Also see Helminthic therapy and pregnancy

Muscle mass loss in the elderly

Age-related decline in muscle function may be driven by chronic inflammation.

Neuropsychiatric disorders

Exposure to helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] may have a profoundly positive affect on neuropsychiatric disorders. [10] [11] HDCsthe cysticercoids (larval cysts) of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta are already being used effectively as a therapeutic agent to relieve a wide range of these disorders, [12] (PDF) [13] [14] and Bilbo and colleagues have used a laboratory model to show that colonization with H. diminutaA murine (rat) tapeworm used in helminthic therapy that generally does not mature in humans and is taken as cysticerci (HDC) in a drink every 2 or 3 weeks. protects rats from inflammation-induced cognitive dysfunction. [15]

Osteoarthritis

Pain, chronic

Parkinson's disease

Chronic inflammation may cause neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease.

The use of immunosuppressant drugs may keep Parkinson's disease at bay, and may also slow progression of the disease if it develops.

HelminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] can achieve similar beneficial effects to immunosuppressants without the longterm adverse side effects.

Preeclampsia

Also see Helminthic therapy and pregnancy

Premenstrual Syndrome

Psychosis

“… there are several lines of evidence to suggest that a proportion of psychotic illnesses have a plausible autoimmune component.”

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Rosacea

The risk for rosacea, as well as other skin disorders such as atopic eczema and onychomycosis (toenail fungus), increase with the presence of systemic low-grade inflammation.

Schizophrenia

Sepsis

Suicide

Tourette Syndrome

Tuberculosis

Venous thromboembolism (VTE)

(Also pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT)).

Inflammation appears to change the hemostatic balance towards thrombogenesis, and autoimmune disorders have been linked to an increased risk of VTE.

A testimony to health enhancement

Well people who host helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] as prophylaxis against autoimmune and inflammation-related conditions may never know exactly how much their worms have helped to keep them well but, occasionally, a case is reported that hints at the extent of the potential benefits.

When a clinical pathologist specialising in medical microbiology heard about helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy., he decided he had to experience what was involved, but he had no expectation of benefit beyond hoping that it might possibly improve his seasonal hay fever. In the event, he experienced several additional benefits.

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Unexpected was the disappearance of the arthritis in my knees, being able to go for a jog without having to stop out of breathlessness (I think I must have had undiagnosed exertional asthma all my life), and finding myself unattracted by starchy, greasy foods. Result of the latter being that I have lost 12 Kg, and kept it off, and that is after 65 years of unsuccessfully battling overweight! Going with that, my total to HDL cholesterol ratio has fallen from 4.3 to 2.8. [16] I've had no recurrence of the painful heels of plantar fasciitis, and… best of all, my mood has improved hugely. I am a really happy person. [17]

See also

SimpleHTLogo(18x18).gif Helminthic Therapy Wiki: documenting the science, management, experience and results of helminth replacement therapy.