The People's Perspective on Medicine

Pig Parasites for Better Health

Modern medicine has struggled mightily over the last 100 years to help humans rid their bodies of parasites. Now some researchers believe we may have gone too far. Without parasites our immune systems may sometimes attack our own tissues. That’s why a Massachusetts company is trying to develop a treatment for autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s or rheumatoid arthritis that involves purified pig parasites. More than 200 subjects will be recruited to take either a placebo or porcine whipworm eggs. This parasite does not survive well in humans so the treatment does not lead to permanent infection or illness. Researchers hope that exposure to the parasite will distract the immune system so that it no longer damages joints or other sensitive tissue.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Are there any results on this treatment for Crohns.

I am doubtful that eliminating antibacterial soap would help. My mother is in her 60’s and has had JV Rheumatoid arthritis since the early 1960’s, long before antibacterial soaps were common.

I heard about parasites before I think it was on NPR for helping severe allergies.

interesting! hope something comes of this.

I would love to know how one signs up for this trial!! My son has Crohn’s disease, the whip worm trial would be a possible help.

Wish list for new commenting system: that articles could be crosslinked. One wonders if simply getting rid of the antibacterial soaps would help these patients at least as much as ingesting pig parasites. (Has this site covered bee stings as allergy treatments? Is that the same mechanism?)
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We have written about bee stings for arthritis, but nobody knows what the mechanism is so we can’t say if it is the same.

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