Parasitic worm eggs may soon be legally sold as food in Germany 

More than 7000 people worldwide are thought to have bought parasitic worms online and ingested them in an attempt to treat conditions ranging from depression to inflammatory bowel disease. Now, a type of pig worm is being evaluated for approval as a food ingredient in Germany. If accepted, it will become the first officially approved product of its kind in Europe.The idea for intentionally infecting yourself with parasites is that, until recent improvements in hygiene, they were common inhabitants of our bodies, having evolved to secrete substances that pacify our immune systems, so they can live in our guts. Detlev Goj, of Thai company Tanawisa, thinks that, in eliminating the problem of parasites – particularly the human hookworm – we may have overlooked possible benefits some parasites may have.Hookworms are bad – they can cause diarrhoea, pain, anaemia and weight loss. Thankfully, they are no longer a common problem in rich nations. But parts of the world where parasitic worms are still common haven’t had the same rises in immune conditions like allergies, inflammatory bowel problems, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis that have been seen in richer nations.“Most research has been focused on hookworm disease, and we’ve overcome that but overshot slightly,” says William Parker of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. “We need to scale back and find a happy medium.”

Source: Parasitic worm eggs may soon be legally sold as food in Germany | New Scientist

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