After being grossed out by the videos of bugs and fungi during the Bugs on the Brain, I wanted to share this link with you guys. It is about worm therapy (I posted the link to someone’s entry, but I wanted to make sure you all had the chance to check it out). Various kinds of worms (specifically Hworms to treat people with diseases of immune dysregulation, when the immune system responds inappropriately, either too strongly or not enough. The website says that asthma and allergies are effectively treated by small doses of these worms. (I have the worst allergies and am deathly allergic to cat–Perhaps I can benefit from this therapy!?) The website offers information on hookworm, whipworm and combination therapy. The worms provide therapeutic benefit after ingestion by traveling to a particular region of the intestinal tract and then modulates the immune system through regulatory T cells.
Before we get too excited about curing allergies, it looks like the FDA isn’t a big fan of using worms as treatment. The website says you have to go to Mexico. Spring break, anyone? Also, you can call 1-888-898-WORM with any questions.
2 thoughts on “1-888-898-WORM”
I just made a comment on Kelsey’s post regarding the tapeworm diet and this finding is very interesting… good work! I guess we can’t always jump to conclusions, saying that it’s too risky, but regardless, seems to me like more research needs to go into the therapeutic benefit and the modulation of T-regs before anyone jumps on this bandwagon.
This reminds me of the class discussion we had on they whether or not “designer babies” or genetically modifying genes should occur. Although worms and genes are inherently different, they function similarly in this domain of conversation. Worms may be able to treat your allergies but what other unknown consequences might they have? Additionally, what epigenetic markers could they turn on/off that we aren’t aware of? I agree with Tory: the FDA should work on this, as I am sure there are a lot of interesting things going on with the controlled use of worms.