Could Parasites Hold the Key to Your Health?

Courtesy of  Science . 2019.

Courtesy of Science. 2019.

The rise in allergies, autoimmune diseases, and depression in the developed world has led to billions of dollars being spent researching cures, while the cause could be right under our noses… and in our intestinal tract! Campaigns since the 1920’s have sought to eradicate common intestinal worms, but what if those worms that had previously existed in humans for thousands of years held the key to suppressing some of our new age afflictions.

Intestinal worms have long caused suffering in humans, but has our bias against a handful of harmful helminths led us to slaughter billions of helpful ones? Is our quest as humans to eradicate parasitic worms being accomplished to our detriment? And if we could treat or even prevent many of our modern inflammatory diseases with harmless intestinal worms, why don’t we?