Hookworms Are Nature’s Claritin

Read the original blog post on Zooillogix here.

Hookworms Are Nature’s Claritin

Category: hookworms
Posted on: September 20, 2007 12:39 PM, by Benny Bleiman

Tired of sneezing all the time? Just inject a bunch of parasitic worms into your system and say goodbye to those pesky allergies.

Hookworm.jpg
How can you stay mad at this face?

Scientists are looking at the possibility of using hookworms to combat hay fever, asthma and even Crohn’s disease. The worms grow to approximately a half an inch long, feeding on…

…nutrients in the intestines of their hosts.

Researchers have long noted that humans in tropical areas known to be hookworm hotbeds have much lower rates of allergies. Recent research also suggests that hookworms may indeed prevent allergy attacks. The speculation is that in an absence of such parasites, people’s immune systems have essentially too much time on their hands, causing the disproportionate and inappropriate immuno-responses that result in allergies. The hookworms must avoid detection in order to survive and thus “damp down” humans’ immune systems with proteins.

Hookworm%20Foot.jpg
When you hear the crunching noise, you know that they’re working!

A gentleman by the name of Dr. David Pritchard of the University of Nottingham is currently conducting experiments with hookworms and getting pretty positive results. Testing samples of people with hay fever and asthma, his findings have yielded conclusive evidence that injecting a small number of hookworms into a person’s system can indeed help prevent these ailments. Says Dr. Pritchard, “Many of the people who were given a placebo have now requested worms. And the people with worms, many of them have decided to keep them for the next hay fever season.” They’re like this year’s Tickle Me Elmo!

There is also evidence that the hookworms can be used on multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease, two other disorders caused by aggressive immuno-responses in humans’ bodies. Seriously, is there anything they can’t do?

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