Strange topic, or what do you think? This article is actually for your information and to help you make informed decisions when the need arises. I am not an advocate of tapeworm diet for weight loss or other fad diets. Weight gain and obesity is caused by multifactorial factors ranging from intentional to unintentional causes. Unintentional factors include but not limited to: underactive thyroid, stress, age, birth control pills, some medications for: hypertension, diabetes, depression, epilepsy; steroid therapy and hormone imbalance. From this list which would tapeworm help? Unless they can absorb these drugs from the digestive system thus preventing the side effect of weight gain.
I just thought to let you know what is trending in the field of weight loss and immune therapy.
Have you heard of the tapeworm diet for weight loss? What won’t we do to lose a few kilograms! Eating tapeworm or its eggs can be a dangerous thing to do. Thus a tapeworm infection can be accidental or deliberate from ingestion raw or undercooked meat or food. There are different types of tapeworms: fish, beef, dwarf and pig tapeworm. Pig tapeworm is the most dangerous, it can migrate to other organs and tissues like the muscles, lungs, liver, eye and even the brain. The less harmful ones just live in the intestines and are expelled in stool in due course.
Tapeworm infestations are common in areas that lack proper sanitation. These areas include Africa and South-East Asia.
I guess you were surprised to see this title. Well, I have been meaning to share this for a while, especially considering that we sometimes follow a trend blindly without researching or knowing the dangers associated with it. Besides this, there are really no regulations governing such practices here in Nigeria.
Two years ago, I met two ladies who said they had gone somewhere in Asia for their tapeworm therapy. They had lost about 20% of their body weight, to me they looked a bit gaunt and their abdomen not so flat. They were bit uncomfortable about their looks, but were happy with the drop in 4 dress sizes.
All I could remember at that time was the many side effects of tapeworm infestations apart from weight loss; although some people may have no symptoms. So I decided to do a little research only to find out this practice has been on for almost a 100 years! You can imagine my surprise.
As disgusting as it sounds, tapeworms do help people lose weight if the problem is ingestion of excess calories. When you have a tapeworm infestation, the food you eat is split between your own body and that of the tapeworm. The tapeworm is an additional means of reducing the amount of calories that you absorb WITHOUT reducing the calories that you consume.
But does this pro outweigh the list of cons? Probably not. Tapeworm infestation can result in:
- The formation of cysts in the liver, eyes, brain, and spinal cord with potentially lethal consequences
- Intestinal obstruction
Tapeworms are introduced into the body through consumption of undercooked food or meat. Undercooked food often contains tapeworm larvae, which could grow into very large tapeworms once inside the individual. Tapeworm pills are sold in some countries.
Apart from the weight loss, a second benefit of tapeworm infestation is on your body’s immune response. A lot of studies have been carried out to confirm that children who had worm or similar infections in early childhood were much less likely to develop asthma or allergies. When you think about it you will notice we have more infectious diseases and less allergies and auto-immune diseases than the people in the developed world.
A theory, called the hygiene hypothesis, says that the immune system of a child who lives too clean a life will, have no challenge to the immune system, so the body develops antibodies to some normally present environmental protein, such as cat dander or pollen, and this in turn leads to asthma, allergies, or both.
Research to prove parasites can help treat allergic conditions, are ongoing at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, UK. Their research suggests that even in the absence of the worm, the isolated protein has the ability to reduce allergic inflammation.
Tapeworm infestations can be eradicated by orally ingested medications. These medications usually exist in single doses for relative ease to the consumer.
Tapeworm diet for weight loss is a no, no for me. It is dangerous, not sustainable besides, and the cons far outweigh the pros. As for the use of the tapeworm protein to treat allergies, I will wait for a more convincing report.