Hookworms for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes?

(Bob M) #1

Yes, they gave people hookworms.


The study results are a bit confusing to me, but there is some reduction in HOMA-IR (one measure of insulin resistance) over the course of two years for both groups of 20 and 40 hookworms. Some reduction in glucose, too. Insulin is a mixed bag, and if you carefully review the plots, it’s somewhat of a mixed bag for everything. Oddly, having double the hookworms doesn’t seem to provide much benefit or even a detriment, depending on test.

Though they don’t lose much weight, only 5kg, and only for the 20 hookworms.

(Robin) #2

Holy cow!!!

(Geoffrey) #3

My goodness, what human beings will do for an easy fix rather that just do the right thing.

(David Cooke) #4

So how heavy is a hookworm?

(Edith) #5

I’ve heard a theory that the reason people in industrialized societies have so many allergies is because not only are we not exposed to dirt and nature (environments too sterile) but because we no longer get infested with parasites. Hook worms, for example, secrete a substance that tamps down our immune systems. It is an overactive immune system that results in allergies. So, the idea is that our immune systems evolved to have parasites and without those parasites, our immune systems over react to benign things like pollen, dust mites, etc.

Years ago, I read a story about a man whose allergies became intolerable, so to test the parasite theory, he got himself infected with hook worm. According to the story, he had major improvement with his allergy symptoms. I don’t think the research on this has proven anything conclusively for allergies, but some research has shown that hookworm infection does seem to tap down our inflammatory response.

I did find this article interesting, theorizing about hookworm infection and COVID outcomes.

And this one about inflammatory bowel disease

Yeah, I think one would need a tapeworm for this. :laughing:

(Bob M) #6

@cooked I THINK they’re quite small, but the pictures show something that appears huge and a bit nasty.

@VirginiaEdie On Reddit, where I first found the reference to this study (not the study itself though), someone said they took hookworms to help with their allergies and it worked.

I’ve also seen some people theorizing that differences in native peoples and modern peoples is things like hookworms. I bought a book from a person who advocated giving people these types of adjuncts (can’t think of a better word), including for things like ADHD and the author applied these to his child and repaired a lot of issues the child had. I looked at the chapter headings, figured I’d never do any of this, and didn’t read it, though.

(B Creighton) #7

No. Just NO. It is sad how misinformed the public is by all the past misinformation, and is scared of a little saturated fat, and a healthy ketogenic diet to get rid of diabetes.

(Edith) #8

It is kind of ironic when you think about it. “Oh no! I can’t eat saturated fat, because that will kill me, but I am willing to possibly get infected with hook worms so I can eat what I want.”

According to the CDC:
A person with a heavy infection may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue and anemia .

Hookworms may not be that benign in the long run. I’ll take keto.


I would go to very great length to avoid any worm infections… Just a fat big NOPE.

And I eat what I want too. Mostly, of course there are limiting things here, I can’t even buy all the seafood I would gladly try (I mean the availability, not the price now).
It takes a lot of time and effort to lose most of the desire for the wrong things but eating whatever I want while eating the right things is just too tempting, I can’t accept it any other way very long term.

But health is my top priority anyway so if sacrifices must be made, I would do it. Hookworms go against health in my mind and no one could persuade me, I wouldn’t even be open-minded, worms, NOPE, I don’t even care, they are inherently wrong.

I find few things gross compared to what I hear from many people but parasites are firmly in that category. And the ones I can’t even just take out immediately? (Or the poor host can’t. I am so thankful I have hands to take out ticks, be it in me or one of the cats. Ginger is an avid collector of mini ones. I always felt a bit sorry for people who have points on their skin they can reach as well.) Even worse.

The fear of saturated fat is so weird to me and isn’t it in nearly everything tasty? :smiley: Maybe I am biased.

And hookworms or not, a good diet IS vital, you won’t just get to eat anything with a worm and expect great things… I for one would want the best or something close if that is too much sacrifice so a diet change would be in order anyway. Even without diabetes as I hadn’t that and still changed my woe, quite drastically… Just because I felt well and healthy, I wanted to ensure I will stay so and maybe get extra benefits… So odd to me when people don’t think like this even when they badly need dietary changes.

(Bacon enough and time) #10

We also know that our immune system is affected by elevated serum insulin and by lack of cholesterol. But no one seems to regard dealing with them as important.

I guess changing our diet feels like too much work, whereas a parasitic infection is sexy.