Worms: Natural remedy for asthma and other allergies?
Want a natural remedy for asthma or other allergies like eczema? If UK and Vietnamese researchers are to be believed, getting yourself infected with parasitic worms like the hookworms may reduce incidences of allergies (Note: further studies needed).
In a research funded by the charity body Asthma UK, researchers gave Vietnamese children treatment to clear their bodies of worms and found that subsequently the children experienced an increase in dust mite allergy. Further indications of the relationship between parasitic worm infection and low incidence of allergies can be found in general low rates of asthma and other allergies in Vietnam where hookworm and other parasitic worms infection is endemic. Rates of asthma and other allergies are higher in other parts of the world which practiced better hygiene and thus have lower incidence of infection by parasitic worms.
The researchers reasoned that worms an human have coexisted and co-evolved over the millions of years and worms have evolved ways to dampen down its host immune responses to its presence in order to prolong the worms survival within humans with the welcomed effect of reducing allergies in human from immune responses. The converse now is true when parasitic worms are eliminated from inside human with resulting higher incidence of allergic responses in human.
Photo of hookworms courtesy of Wikipedia.
Posted by Peter @ Enviroman at 10:39 AM