September 2, 2015 | David F. Coppedge

Worm Therapy Becoming Trendy

Treatment with helminths (roundworms), once considered gross, is actually proving effective.

If you can get over the “ick factor” of putting worms in your body, you might take a new look at what many patients are finding: helminths (roundworms) can cure some diseases other treatments can’t. Here’s the bottom line of an article from Medical Xpress:

“The risk-benefit ratio is so skewed to the benefit side,” O’Hara said. “Helminths are much safer than any medication I’ve ever put any child on, or any adult. I really do think that this is something more and more physicians need to consider.”

Helminth therapy (the preferred term, since “worms” grosses people out) has proven effective for severe food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease. It’s given some patients a new life.

Of scientific interest is whether helminths should be classed as parasites. That link is “controversial” the article says, because while some truly do cause harm, there are other helminth species that cause no harm and bring only benefits. What’s the difference in living with other internal organisms, like gut bacteria, that help us digest our food?

For creationists, this relatively recent change of opinion may be instructive about original ecology. Instead of classing organisms into simplistic good-and-bad categories, maybe we should take a look at some things as potentially good under the right circumstances. Certainly the Genesis 3 curse caused pain and suffering in many cases, but we shouldn’t assume that some organisms we have been conditioned to consider bad are in fact bad. Another case is maggots, now being used for cleaning wounds. That’s something Hugh Glass knew about and benefited from (to be shown in the upcoming movie, The Revenant, opening Christmas 2015). Don’t rush to get bit by a rattlesnake or stung by a scorpion, but keep an open mind about yucky things in nature. Grasshoppers are good sources of protein, for instance. Each case needs its own evidence.


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  • doug hulstedt says:

    Just a note. As I have an autistic population that I deal with; the community has been working on anything that will work. I tried the helminths on my self and noticed no effects.
    They have rats as an intermediate and humans are a dead end. Nancy O’Hara is one of the brighter stars in autism treatment.
    Maybe God placed worms here for something other than to be eaten by robins
    Doug Hulstedt

  • Buho says:

    This reminds me of the “trendy” diet fad of 100 years ago where women ingested tape worm cysts. Sure, the worms made you thinner, but oh man, the consequences, including worms swimming in your eyeballs! RETCH!

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