Loss of efficacy does not equate to loss of helminths

”I have lost my worms because of <insert any one of your choices here>, my symptoms came back after I ate <insert name of dish here>.

There have developed some myths online regarding the loss of helminth populations, particularly hookworm, due to various foods, herbal remedies, antibiotics, etc. I have read that pumpkin seeds, pineapple, coconut milk or oil, fennel, cummin, tumeric, etc., etc., all “kill hookworms”.

One major example of this type of myth, and it seems a universally accepted example, was created by me. Sorry about that.

Sorry about that.

The fact is that none of these things kills hookworm or whipworms, as a simple thought experiment, or a simple experiment if that won’t satisfy you will demonstrate.

If coconut milk or oil, both staples of the diet in SE Asia, killed either hookworms or whipworms this purported property would have been identified long ago. If they, see list above, they would be used as folk remedies in places where either hookworm and whipworm are endemic. Because of poverty levels that mean no one owns or has access to either toilets or shoes, are public health issues. Having been identified long ago there would have been no market for antihelminthic drugs, and neither Albendazole nor Mebendazole would exist.

The observation of loss of efficacy is trustworthy, but the conclusion that one has therefore lost one’s worm population is not.

If you do an experiment on yourself while enjoying remission or substantial health benefits due to helminthic therapy and you drink or eat one of these things purported to kill helminths in isolation, and within 24 hours you see a return of symptoms you can only conclude you have lost efficacy.

However, we are not aware that anyone has done even this to test the idea that coconut oil or coconut milk, Substance A in this case, alone is responsible. There is a great deal more in all the SE Asian dishes we have eaten than coconut milk or oil alone.

For one to be sure that Substance A had caused the extermination of your helminth population, something distinct from a temporary or permanent loss of efficacy, the following would have to be done:

Having a confirmed population of helminths via stool test* one would have to take in isolation, or to ingest, Substance A, and;

Conduct regular stool tests or some other confirming test to prove ova production had stopped for the next two or three weeks, or;

Having ingested Substance A, collect all of the subject’s faeces for the next two or three days and to examine every particle of it to identify dead helminths in the subjects stool.

Even then it may be the effect of dead helminths, however unlikely it may be or seem, is the result of some other dietary or environmental factor.

A one off stool test looking for ova is insufficient. We know that some drugs suppress ova production, without killing worms, for weeks.

How was it decided that coconut milk, part of a meal with dozens of ingredients, was the culprit?

To decide that one of many constituents of what you eat in a day or two, and that it alone is the cause is just one issue that is problematic with the line of reasoning that coconut milk, Substance A, or coconut oil kills helminths.

The jump from loss of efficacy to assuming that this necessarily equates to the extermination of one’s helminth population is another.

Antibiotics (ABx) are an example that illustrates the problems with thinking coconut anything kills helminths, even if one demonstrates it causes loss of efficacy.

When a subject with an active helminth infection takes antibiotics the effect on helminths are well documented in parasitology texts. Ova production drops substantially for at least two weeks after completing the course of antibiotics. We have also observed in many instances a loss of efficacy associated with antibiotic use. Ova production drops to such an extent that the standard advice is that no parasite and ova test (microscopic examination of a stool sample looking for worm eggs) is reliable until two weeks after the subject has completed the course of antibiotics.

From this, I deduce two things.

A. That ova production is subdued for at least two weeks after taking antibiotics, and that therefore at least some helminths are affected by antibiotics, whether directly or indirectly being unknown.

B. Antibiotics do not kill helminths.

As implied many times to this point, people often erroneously equate a loss of efficacy with the death of their helminths.

Additionally, to determine that one amongst the many things you eat in a day or a week requires more than it is out of the ordinary, and therefore the culprit if you do experience a die off of your helminths. Who is to say it is not the result of some combination of foods or dietary items?

Loss of efficacy rarely in my experience means the death of the helminths.

To illustrate how powerful the act of writing something down in public, on the internet is, I shall here admit that it is a fiction that nitrous oxide kills hookworm. As well that I am responsible for that fiction. I am going to predict as well that making this admission will make not a whit of difference to the widespread belief that this is so.

My wife’s loss of efficacy in 2008 after eating whipped cream, all those years ago, which at the time we assumed meant the death of her hookworm population, is not borne out by experimentation.

I have tested it by inhaling a lot of nitrous oxide over the course of an hour, there is almost no limit to the lengths I am willing to go in the interest of science, and I lost zero hookworms and zero whipworms as a result.

I did get a headache, and I did giggle a lot.

Sorry, but Nitrous Oxide, laughing gas, does not kill hookworms.

So why would one of the breakdown products of the digestion of either coconut oil or coconut milk harm helminths?

Neither hookworms nor whipworms feed on your intestinal contents; they feed on us. Digestion is a process in which a large variety of large and small molecules are broken down into a small variety of smaller ones.

Further enzymatic degradation by the liver starts immediately of many of the products of digestion. That process is how the body can deal with what is an enormous variety of exotic molecules that we routinely take as drugs or eat as food additives.

So if you experience a loss of efficacy don’t assume it means your helminths are dead. Don’t attribute that loss of benefits to anything without very clear evidence that it is a particular thing amongst the many you ate, inhaled, etc., in the previous few days, or weeks.

Use common sense, think about the areas the food comes from and whether helminths are a public health problem in those areas.

Remember that to harm your helminths, which feed on you not what you eat, what you eat has to result in a product of digestion harmful to helminths, but not to you.

Think about whether it is possible to isolate the food as the only possible element in what you have eaten, drank or inhaled, etc., in the period of days before your loss of efficacy with absolute certainty.

Everyone believes and will continue to believe that nitrous oxide kills helminths, that is my fault. Nitrous oxide is something we have not encountered as a species until relatively recently. It is something that is not broken down by digestion, and that would seem on the face of it to be a reasonable way to kill even primitive organisms through disruption of nerve action.

If nitrous oxide does not kill helminths then how likely is it that pineapple, pumpkin seeds, or whatever it is you are eating will kill helminths?

Arguments against antibiotic use. A few amongst very many

You have “an overgrowth” of a “bad” bacteria, so I am prescribing antibiotics to kill it”.

Is this something your doctor has told you that you have?

Have they offered antibiotics as the solution?

Did they run any tests to prove their assertion? If so compared to what is your bacterial population unhealthy? How do they know it is an unhealthy population?

If an unhealthy balance in the relative sizes of the populations of different species of bacteria is the problem in your intestines how could this state have arisen?

If an unhealthy balance in the relative sizes of the populations of different species of bacteria is the problem in your intestines how could this state have arisen?

Did one of them suddenly mutate, becoming SuperBacteria, and outcompeting all others for space in your intestinal tract, or stomach or wherever?

I doubt it.

The only ways I can think of, with my admittedly limited intellect and education, for this to happen are the following two*:

Experiencing a dysenteric illness. One in which you violently emit vomit and diarrhoea for days, denuding your entire intestinal tract of much of its microbial variety.

It is, for this reason, that it is hypothesised the appendix evolved, to act as a reservoir, the structure like that of an antechamber attached to the colon. It acts like a life raft, as an ark in Biblical terms, for enough of each species to survive to allow recolonisation of the colon once the illness has passed.

That is how important bacterial “balance” is. It also illustrates how destructive antibiotics can be, if we developed an organ to preserve microbial variety then anything that harms that variety clearly has the potential to do enormous harm.

We evolved an organ to preserve microbes and microbial variety!

Bear that in mind anytime you are told to take antibiotics and ask if you have to take them. If I am told I will get better eventually, but it will take longer than if I take antibiotics, I do not take them. I fill the prescription in case I get ill, but I do not use them unless it is clear I really need them.

The appendix cannot protect microbes from antibiotics (ABx). Nor are ABx discriminating, each type kills astonishing numbers of bacteria in terms of variety. When you take them it isn’t just that the variety you host is reduced. It is that some of those that remain will proliferate beyond all “normal” bounds, and not just bacteria exist to fill that void of course. There are various yeasts and viruses. Not just in number but likely in terms of the areas of the intestinal tract they colonise. These changes represent a profound change in the signals that the host immune system receives.

A neat segue to the only other reason I can think of is the use of antibiotics. It was long assumed that things got “back to normal” quite quickly after taking ABx, but when someone bothered to look, this is from memory and I am not going to find the citation, they stopped looking after three years, when there were changes still apparent in the microbial makeup in the subjects’ intestinal tracts.

So, to fix an issue of an “overgrowth” of this or that bacteria by killing that species and for argument’s sake probably half of the species in your intestines at the same time to restore “balance” seems to me to be absurd.

While it may produce the desired result, temporarily probably, it is also likely to further impoverish the variety of species present in your intestinal tract.

It may well fix the issue in your stomach or your colon, perhaps even in the long term. Perhaps.

But has your doctor considered or discussed with you the potential consequences in other areas of your intestinal tract?

If you are being told to use ABx in circumstances like this please consider with your doctor every other approach you can. For instance, have you tried probiotics and fermented foods?

Have you read this blog post of mine?

https://jasper-lawrence.com/2014/09/11/things-i-would-do-if-i-was-still-sick/

There is a reason small children are constantly putting foul things in their mouths. If that were deleterious to their survival odds back in the day when ABx did not exist, humans, it seems to my uneducated mind would have evolved to manifest the opposite behaviours when young.

Perhaps small children cramming disgusting things in their mouths is an evolved behaviour? Like the appendix in a way, but to ensure we acquire sufficient microbial variety, rather than to preserve it? To prime our immune system by populating our intestinal tracts with the variety of microbes required for health?

Just some things for you to consider and to discuss with your doctor/s.

*As with everything and anything I say, or write, nothing written here or elsewhere on this site should be interpreted, construed and most of all acted on as though it were medical advice. I never went to college, never mind not being an MD. Anything you read here is for your consideration and if you believe may have merit for discussion with your doctor. I am not a doctor, nothing I write here should be considered as medical advice.

*There are clearly others, a change in diet so that the food availble in various parts of your intestinal tract are changed substantially resulting in a change in microbial population.

**NOTHING I write is meant to diagnose, treat or prognosticate on any disease or illness.

Pathology labs are utterly useless

Pathology labs are so utterly useless, it was quite disturbing to discover out how bad they are, repeatedly and in so many ways for so many types of tests.
When I first got back from Africa convinced I had been successful infecting myself with hookworm, because of multiple rashes and a night of violent coughing, I tested negative 3 times in a row at a lab in California.
I was convinced I had failed. I was crushed. I was broke.
Then my allergies and then my asthma went and I began to wonder, and I bought a microscope.
After that, I had multiple tests over the next year or so with different labs looking for one that knew what they were doing. I was being asked to prove I had hookworm, and everyone thought as I had that it was a simple test.
You can imagine, back then there were no blogs, almost no news or research, and a lot of people thought I was lying. After all, where were the test results?
Later on, I wanted to be able to refer clients to an independent lab, a lot of people were preoccupied with McMaster egg counts, worthless though they are. As well as to confirm their ongoing infection with hookworm.
I did not want to do stool tests because it was going to be believed I was just making results up. A lot of people did not believe we actually had worms back then is what I mean. One client when we first started providing whipworm who lived in San Francisco, ninety miles to the north, insisted on visiting to view some ova through a microscope. Some decent independent testing would have been useful.

Some decent independent testing would have been useful.
I have only ever tested positive once with a third party, the Clinic associated with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, this was after we had had to leave the USA and fully four plus years after I went to Africa and more than two years after I went to Belize. That clinic even gave decent estimates of my worm burden for both Hookworms and Whipworms, as in Heavy of hookworm and moderate for whipworm.I imagine lab techs are people who “know” no one in the States or Europe can possible have a helminth infestation.

I imagine lab techs are people who “know” no one in the States or Europe can possible have a helminth infestation.

So when a sample comes in from someone wanting a test for hookworms and they say they have not travelled abroad in the last three years, in the Tech’s mind the person asking for the test has to be obsessive, a Hulda Clarke acolyte.The Tech does, at best, a cursory examination of a single slide, wretches a few times, and bins the sample, ticks “Negative” on the carbon paper form and then furiously washes their hands, and liberally applies hand

The Tech does, at best, a cursory examination of a single slide, wretches a few times, and bins the sample, ticks “Negative” on the carbon paper form and then furiously washes their hands, and liberally applies hand sanitiser.That is how I imagine it goes most of the time, at $90 a pop.

That is how I imagine it goes most of the time, at $90 a pop, with three tests at two week intervals the recommended way to test for parasites.

We had another experience where a client went to their doctor, the client was nuts by the way, convinced they had a deficiency disease, and the Dr. ordered blood work.At the time I was working with a clinical pathologist, someone who ordered and interpreted sophisticated tests for doctors, and had done so for years working for the National Health Service here in the UK.

At the time I was working with a clinical pathologist, someone who ordered and interpreted sophisticated tests for doctors, and had done so for years working for the National Health Service here in the UK.On the basis of the blood

On the basis of the blood results the doctor ordered iron infusions, and a regimen of supplementation for things like magnesium.The client went nuts.

The client went nuts.The client very shrilly blamed her predicament on hookworms and on me, it was still early days so I wasn’t equipped to refute both her and a doctor or so I thought. She was fulminating online and everywhere that we were a threat to life and limb, grossly irresponsible, etc., etc.

The client very shrilly blamed her predicament on hookworms and on me, it was still early days so I wasn’t equipped to refute both her and a doctor or so I thought. She was fulminating online and everywhere that we were a threat to life and limb, grossly irresponsible, etc., etc.So we obtained a copy from her of her blood results, and according to the clinical pathologist had they been correct the blood could only have been drawn from a corpse.

So we obtained a copy from her of her blood results, and according to the clinical pathologist had they been correct the blood could only have been drawn from a corpse.The Dr. had not noticed, or more likely had decided it was easier to treat a condition that did not exist than to confront the lunatic.

The Dr. had not noticed, or more likely had decided it was easier to treat a condition that did not exist than to confront the lunatic.The lesson of this story is that you should always obtain a confirming test when lab results indicate anything other than a mild course of treatment, iron infusions are not mild. You can apply the same reasoning to the opinions of doctors. I never go myself, but when I do and if a diagnosis is rendered I will definitely be getting a second opinion and a new set of tests.

The lesson of this story is that you should always obtain a confirming test when lab results indicate anything other than a mild course of treatment, iron infusions are not mild. You can apply the same reasoning to the opinions of doctors. I never go myself, but when I do and if a diagnosis is rendered I will definitely be getting a second opinion and a new set of tests.

If you doubt me maybe you should do some searching, here is one link I found by Googling “number of misdiagnoses per year USA”.

http://ow.ly/KcPw309TWaq

Tests to confirm infestation with helminths

There are three tests that can confirm to an extent that one is or has recently been infected with hookworm or whipworm.

The Parasite & Ova Test

The first and most common is in practice useless for reasons I speculate about below. In most cases returning a negative result that is almost invariably false.

This is the simple Parasite & Ova test offered by pathology labs across the world.

In places like the USA, Canada, the EU, etc., where “no one” has helminth infestations lab techs do not have any real experience performing the test, they have likely only ever seen pictures of the ova they have to look for in textbooks.

They “know” the subject cannot be infested, and the test is very unpleasant to perform because it requires handling and being in close proximity to human excrement for over an hour.

I believe that as a result of these factors most samples submitted are binned almost immediately, or at best given a cursory examination.

For instance, I thought I had been unsuccessful in obtaining hookworm originally on the basis of 3 negative P&O tests taken at two-week intervals starting eight weeks after my return from Cameroon. This is what is recommended for P&O tests for hookworm.

Total cost of those three tests was over $200 and that was back in 2006, don’t waste your money or your time.

It was only when I realised my allergies appeared to be gone that I bought a microscope and taught myself how to do them. It takes a long time to get your eye in, (days not hours) and if I had not been very highly motivated there is no way I would have done it.

I had the advantage of working with my own excrement. That may not sound like much of an advantage to you, but having performed P&O tests on the excrement of others I can tell you that you are quite wrong.

I think they give one or two slides a cursory examination, at best, toss them in the bin,  check “Negative” confident they are dealing with one of Hulda Clarke’s, or similar, dupes, and go and wash vigorously with hand sanitiser for about twenty minutes.

I would expect that most of the P&O tests performed in North America are done so for people who are convinced, and there are many, that their health issues are the result of infection with all manner of parasites. Which that vile fraud Hulda Clarke and others offer purging tonics for.

To be absolutely clear, Hulda Clarke and her ilk are charlatans of the worst kind, preying on the sick using the dominant paradigm of disease origin, that is of infection or contamination, germ theory, to take advantage of people who are desperate and vulnerable.

Strong ELISA

The second is the Strong ELISA test, which looks for antibodies specific to hookworm or whipworm, or whatever. This test is rock solid, so long as it is performed competently, on a sample that has been handled and prepared, as well as conserved properly.

Bear in mind that we see an alarming number of screwed up blood tests, ones where our client’s doctor accepts a lab result uncritically, and starts a course of treatment based on said lab results. Lab results that could only be true were the subject dead.

I am not making this up.

The cause is often poor handling of the sample, using the wrong collection tube (with the wrong preservative), combined with obvious idiocy.

So as with any test, you would have to have a confirming one performed if the first was negative, or positive. Because just like where you work most of the people working in healthcare are doing their best…

As well, because the test does not prove the presence of the helminth you are looking for, but instead for antibodies, it is possible for someone to have lost their infection and show positive for as long as those antibodies remain in circulation.

Eosinophil level changes

The last of the three is to have your Eosinophil levels checked. Eosinophils are white blood cells that only* come out to play with helminths. Their concentration levels in blood rise from very low concentrations per ml of blood, say 30, in someone who has never been exposed to helminths, up to many hundreds, sometimes over a thousand or fifteen hundred per ml, about four to six weeks after first exposure. They plateau for four or five months before rapidly starting to decline around the end of month five, so that at the end of month six your levels would be just slightly above where they were preexposure.

*But eosinophil levels can be elevated for other reasons, giving false positives, and in fact elevated levels are associated with the atopic disorders, asthma, allergy, and eczema, as well as more exotic and deadly conditions.

The advantage of this test is that it is dead cheap, performed by machines, and cheap enough for you to have performed all the way along the curve showing you not only that you are infected, but that around five or six months those hookworm or whipworm are having a measurable impact on your immune system, because they have turned off the production of a type of white blood cell.

However it has the added drawback that even in someone who has hosted helminths for months each dose is likely, no one has ever looked at this so this is suppostion on my part, to cause a temporary bump in eosinophil levels.

What I recommend if you simply have to know

The best way to have the standard P&O test performed I think is to have a veterinarian do it. If you can talk one into it. They have the equipment, they are skilled in the test because they routinely do it. Cats and dogs get hookworm of their own, and high worm burdens can kill kittens.

Yes, kittens!

Far cheaper than the Strong ELISA, which you can have done by a lab out of Atlanta called Metametrix, (Metametrix appears to have disappeared). I think it is close to three or four hundred USD, plus shipping, but they can tell you  the cost, how long you would have to wait to submit a sample, probably about four months. 

But as I said, you should never rely on a single lab result for any medical decision you ever make, always ask for a retest. That makes this option very expensive, but worth it if you are making decisions about your health, and given the capacity for human error we have observed and that I describe elsewhere here when it comes to testing I would never conceive of proceeding with any course of healthcare on the basis of either a single test, or a single opinion.

What you should do if not gripped by compulsion

The fact is, having answered this question many, many times, is that if you’ve gotten the itch and a rash then you are infected, and will remain so for three years. That is unless you have innate immunity. If you do have innate immunity then our dosing protocol takes care of that, and it doesn’t matter.

But none of that is going to stop you obsessing, I’ve met your type before…

You might consider buying a microscope, but really, is that how you want to spend any of your free time?

Besides which having spent a day or two looking at shit on a sheet of glass, and convinced of your expertise you will tell me you don’t have an active infection, when you almost certainly do.

Yes, we will do stool tests for you, but are you going to be satisfied when the test is performed by the outfit selling you the organism? That and we charge for it now, because it is pointless and because we grew tired of performing pointless tests, often repeatedly, for a small group of obsessives. 

More to the point, is it how your current or any prospective partners are going to want to spend their weekends?

Reading academic papers

Finding papers to read

There are many ways to find academic papers. As well as using your favourite internet search engine, there are many indexes of medical and biological papers with effective search functions. Pubmed is by far the most popular and very comprehensive, maintained by the NIH, part of the US federal government, thank you. Indexation by Pubmed does lag publication by six or more months, and this will be true of all the academic search engines, like… Jstor, also popular.

So if you simply have to read it as soon as it is published you will have to subscribe to the journals, or having read the abstract in a truncated version of a journal online pay for the whole paper.

When you use the medical research databases remember to use multiple different search terms when looking for papers on a particular topic. You must also use the same terminology as those favoured by researchers and academics. To an extent their use of specialised language makes sense, unfortunately many researchers seem to have never met a complex word they did not like, regardless of the utility derived from using one. So, as well as searching for keywords such as “helminths” or “hookworm” remember to try using scientific names of organisms such as “necator americanus” and “trichuris trichiura”, or using the academic style for contractions as “t. trichiura”. Of course you can simply use “trichiura” instead, but remember with medical research a great deal is conducted in animals. Particularly at the early stages, as we are now with helminthic therapy. So the animal equivalents are often used, as in T. Suis for the whipworm species having pigs as their definitive host.  So search using terms starting at the centre, and move out.

Continue reading “Reading academic papers”

Why ova counts are worthless for measuring helminth population

Egg counts were once commonly used to estimate helminth populations in infected humans, and more commonly in animals. They were used to determine whether or not a treatment to kill the helminths, a process called helminth therapy, was appropriate. Before modern anti-helminthics in particular treatment was very unpleasant, and quite dangerous, so treatment was far more dangerous in the case of light infections than to leave them to die of old age.

This policy of only treating large infections prevails, only subjects with high populations of hookworm for instance are supposed to be given anti helminthic drugs (helminth therapy) according to CDC policy (see graphic from CDC image web site below). It was this customary use of the term helminth therapy that lead me at the very beginning to adopt the use of helminthic therapy, the two phrases meaning exactly the opposite.

I do not claim the term’s invention, I read it in an early paper since lost speculating about the possible use of helminths via deliberate infection to treat diseases like Crohn’s.

The arguments against egg counts as an indicator of helminth number

Continue reading “Why ova counts are worthless for measuring helminth population”

What is the difference between a cure and remission?

I am posting this because I often find myself telling people that helminthic therapy, though it very likely could make you completely well, cannot cure you. The issue is semantics, but it is important we adhere to strict definitions, even if they cause trouble for some, in the interest of accuracy.

A cure is when a disease or illness is treated and then goes away completely. An example of this is when antibiotics are used to clear up an infection such as tonsillitis.

Continue reading “What is the difference between a cure and remission?”

Thank You Automattic for the Akismet Anti Spam Plugin

I wanted to thank Automattic, the developers of the Akismet anti comment-spam plugin for writing what is a very helpful tool for blocking comment spam on WordPress blogs.

I forgot to mention that it is free.

If you look at the screenshot below it quarantined 2,574 comments that were spam, this from early this year, around mid March I think, until now, mid September.

Most of it is in Chinese, though I did not get past the second page examining it.

If I deleted your honest post, if you submitted it and it is not published here somewhere then I deleted it, please resubmit it and I will be sure to publish. Please no marketing links, I just burn those comments.

Spam Count
2,574 comments marked as spam in less than six months

Multiple Sclerosis and helminthic therapy

Every one of our Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis clients who has maintained a therapeutic population of hookworm has reported achieving near or complete remission within twenty-four months, most show an improvement within six to nine months.

Every. Single. One.

I recently spoke with the gentleman who sent me the email quoted below, and he has agreed to write up an account of his experiences with helminthic therapy. I will post that here as soon as I get it.

Nor are our results always entirely subjective, although this one is typical of the emails I get from our MS clients, in this case their response is documented by their neurologist using pre- and post-helminthic therapy MRIs.

Start of email:

Hi Jasper, I just recently had a brain MRI and I wanted to share the great results with you. This is the letter from my neurologist:

“Just a short note to let you know about the results of your recent MRI of the brain done 5/30/10. We were finally able to get it compared to your previous MRI done 6/22/07 done at Kaiser Woodland Hills. Here’s a copy of the report: “Comparison exam dated 6/22/07 from outside institution is now available for review. Compared to this study, a lesion in the lateral aspect of the right thalamus has significantly decreased in size. A previous lesion in the right brachium pontis is not seen. Other white matter lesions are without significant change. Hyperintensity in the left optic nerve was not definitely seen on the prior but this area was not seen clearly given technique. No new lesion has developed.”

So things are actually improved and no new lesions are seen! This is great news! I think we can safely reduce your Copaxone to every other day provided you have an annual MRI. What are your thoughts?”

This is better news than I could have hoped for. It looks like the mild symptoms I was having were not an actual relapse. Some people get these flare ups when they get too hot, but I think that I may get them when I don’t get enough sleep. From what I understand, it is not actually disease activity, but more like a “short circuit” caused by existing scar tissue in the brain when it is exposed to certain stresses. I definitely think that the hookworms are a big part of the reason that I am doing so well. So thank you again for all the sacrifices that you’ve made to make this treatment available.

End of email.

You can read another quite incredible account on our page devoted to Multiple Sclerosis and Helminthic Therapy. The one you want is by “Ric”. He was in the very first cohort of clients, on September 25, 2007. Reading his account just now I realised I need to get him to update it, and have emailed him so we can bring it up-to-date.

If you want more than anecdote there is plenty of research, in particular that of Correale and Farez over the last decade, theirs is some of the best research into helminth’s impact on any disease there is, even now. If what is available here is not sufficient a search of PubMed, the online medical research database maintained by the National Institutes for Health is a great resource.

Correale and Farez’s work is superb(1,2,3), as you can see for yourself below, the full text of one of the papers below is available for free. See link below also.

What their work shows is that just about any infection with a helminth will slow or stop the progress of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

Furthermore, their work examines some of the mechanisms explaining the impact of helminth infection on the immune systems of those with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Explaining how the improvement of symptoms of those with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis who are infected with helminths is caused by the helminths.

Taken together this has enormous potential to treat, or to eliminate, Multiple Sclerosis.

Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is about 85% of all cases of Multiple Sclerosis.

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis is what Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis turns into after a few years or decades. Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis forms about 10% of all cases of Multiple Sclerosis.

So, Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is responsible for about 95% of all cases of Multiple Sclerosis.

Summarising, based on our 100% response rate treating Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis using hookworm alone, supported by powerful results from a series of well-designed and executed studies showing similar results for a variety of helminths, that provide at least part of the reason for the beneficial effects of helminth infection on the course of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, it appears reasonable to believe that it is possible, using tools and techniques we have right now, to prevent or to “cure” approximately 95% of all cases of Multiple Sclerosis.

But is it safe?

One branch of the United States Federal Government says so. The Centers for Disease Control.

The Centers for Disease Control, a department of the National Institutes for Health in the United States, recommends US doctors not treat light infections of hookworm (see diagnosis and treatment algorithm published by the CDC/NIH here).

Light infections being all that is required to treat Multiple Sclerosis, it is hard to understand why there is so little excitement about all this.

Source: Public Health Image Library, ID#:52454

Unfortunately the CDC is not the portion of the US Government that is concerned with regulating, and deciding what are, drugs. Sadly, for us, that portion of the Federal Government, the FDA, has decided that helminths are a drug.

According to various estimates that can be found on the web, a disease not worth treating according to the CDC is in fact a potentially dangerous drug requiring years, decades, of research likely to cost approximately $800,000,000.00, this according to sources quoted on Wikipedia. It is hard to imagine a drug company undertaking such a task to gain approval for the therapy that it could not patent, and that would supplant some of the most expensive drugs on the market today.

Take Tysabri as an example, a drug used in the USA to treat Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. One estimate I have read on the internet states that the cost of five years treatment with Tysabri costs $140,00.00, that is the drug alone. It does not include the blood tests and doctor’s visits required by use of the drug. The cost of hookworm currently for five years benefit? $3,050.00.

Put another way, treatment with hookworm for Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is 2.1% of the cost of Tysabri over a five year period.

While I understand why no drug companies are championing this approach for treating Multiple Sclerosis, given that doing so would amount to financial suicide, what i don’t understand is why Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, and the Charities that represent them, are not.

I don’t understand why everyone with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is not aware of the potential of helminthic therapy to treat Multiple Sclerosis. Why aren’t the charities championing research or promoting the use of this therapy right now?

It’s safe, remember?

Because of the universal response among our Multiple Sclerosis clients, and the excellent science available courtesy of Correale and Farez, we have decided that Multiple Sclerosis is the route to gaining wider acceptance of helminthic therapy. To persuading the medical and scientific establishment to treat the subject with the seriousness and resources it deserves.

If anyone with experience writing grant proposals, for research in particular. Or with experience working with charities wants to help, or to advise us in these efforts, please contact me by leaving a message in the comments section here, or by visiting http://autoimmunetherapies.com/contact.html.

This is absolutely the most important thing we have attempted since starting to sell helminthic therapy in September, 2007.

Success with a study will help us towards our ultimate goal, the transformation of the practice of medicine o include the use of benign infectious organisms to prevent and to treat disease. We might even help accelerate the eradication of Multiple Sclerosis, too.

Jasper Lawrence

References:

(1) The impact of parasite infections on the course of multiple sclerosis.

Correale J, Farez MF.

Abstract: Previously, we demonstrated that helminth-infected MS patients showed significantly lower number of relapses, reduced disability scores, and lower MRI activity compared to uninfected MS subjects. In the current study, 12 patients with diagnosis of relapsing remitting MS presenting parasite infections were prospectively followed during 90months; due to exacerbation of helminth-infection symptoms after 63months of follow-up, 4 patients received anti-parasite treatment. Helminth-infection control was associated with significant increase in clinical and radiological MS activities. Moreover, these patients showed significant increase in the number of IFN-γ and IL-12 producing cells, and a fall in the number of TGF-β and IL-10 secreting cells, as well as CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg cells evident 3months after anti-helminth treatment began. These new observations on parasite infections associated to MS indicate that parasite regulation of host immunity can alter the course of MS.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21277637 Link to PubMed Entry

(2) Helminth antigens modulate immune responses in cells from multiple sclerosis patients through TLR2-dependent mechanisms.

Correale J, Farez MF.

Abstract: To better understand the link between parasite infections and the course of multiple sclerosis (MS), we studied the role of TLRs in helminth product recognition by dendritic cells (DCs) and B cells. Baseline expression of TLR2 was significantly higher in infected-MS patients compared with uninfected MS subjects or healthy controls. Moreover, cells exposed to TLR2 agonists or to soluble egg Ag (SEA) from Schistosoma mansoni resulted in significant TLR2 up-regulation. SEA suppressed the LPS-induced DCs production of IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-alpha and enhanced TGF-beta as well as IL-10 production. Similarly, after exposure to SEA, anti-CD40-activated B cells increased IL-10 production. Both processes were MyD88 dependent. In addition, SEA down-regulated the expression of LPS-induced costimulatory molecules on DCs in a MyD88-independent manner. DCs stimulation by SEA and TLR2 agonists induced increasing phosphorylation of the MAPK ERK1/2. Neither stimulus showed an effect on p38 and JNK1/2 phosphorylation, however. Addition of the ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126 was associated with dose-dependent inhibition of IL-10 and reciprocal enhancement of IL-12. Finally, cytokine effects and changes observed in DCs costimulatory molecule expression after SEA exposure were lost when TLR2 expression was silenced. Overall, these findings indicate that helminth molecules exert potent regulatory effects on both DCs and B cells through TLR2 regulation conducted via different signaling pathways. This knowledge could prove critical in developing novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as MS.

PMID: 19812189 Link to free copy of complete paper.

(3) Helminth infections associated with multiple sclerosis induce regulatory B cells.

Correale J, Farez M, Razzitte G.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the importance of B-cell control during parasite infections in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

METHODS:

Peripheral blood CD19+ B cells from 12 helminth-infected MS patients, 12 MS patients without infection, 10 patients infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, 8 subjects infected with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, and 12 healthy control subjects were purified using magnetic cell sorting. Interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, lymphotoxin, transforming growth factor-beta, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and nerve growth factor secretion were evaluated after stimulation with CDw32 L cells and CD40 antibody using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The production of anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein IgG and IgM antibodies was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assays. Cell phenotype was assessed by flow cytometry.

RESULTS:

Helminth infections in MS patients created a B-cell population producing high levels of IL-10, dampening harmful immune responses through a mechanism mediated, at least in part, by the ICOS-B7RP-1 pathway. The IL-10-producing B-cell phenotype detected expressed high levels of CD1d and was similar to the one observed in mature naive B2 cells (namely, CD11b(-), CD5(-), CD27(-), and IgD+). Moreover, B cells isolated from helminth-infected MS patients also produced greater amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor compared with those of normal subjects, T. cruzi-infected subjects, P. brasiliensis-infected subjects, or uninfected MS patients, raising the possibility that these cells may exert a neuroprotective effect on the central nervous system.

INTERPRETATION:

Increased production of B-cell-derived IL-10 and of neurotrophic factors are part of the parasite’s regulation of host immunity and can alter the course of MS, potentially explaining environmental-related MS suppression observed in areas with low disease prevalence.

PMID: 18655096 Link to PubMed Entry

(4) For those wanting to find the hookworm diagnosis and treatment algorithm image for themselves it is impossible to bookmark, I expect the CDC does not want their servers being used by sites like this one to host their images and to provide their bandwidth. But you can find it at http://phil.cdc.gov/phil/home.asp, use the search field to search on “hookworm” and the image is about halfway down on the right.

More evidence of the power of ecosystems

Just read at the second pass by an interesting article on the Independent.co.uk, a national newspaper in the UK concerning a recent discovery. Scientists claim to have worked out why honey is so good as an antibiotic and it has nothing to do with honey bees directly, but rather the ecosystem formed by their stomachs, as with us and helminths and the hygiene hypothesis/old friends hypothesis. Turns out they believe that bacteria living in honey bee stomachs is what confers the antibiotic properties on honey. I will leave it to your imagination how bacteria in a bee’s stomach transfer that power to the honey you enjoy. But yet another, they are stacking up fast, demonstrating that thinking of ecosystems on any level as separate or distinct from one another is not productive. Although the hippy connotations have always bothered me I think Gaia deserves another look, and hopefully a better name with less mystical associations.

From the Independent:
For millenia, raw unmanufactured honey has been used to treat infections.

Scientists believe its effectiveness could lie in a unique formula comprised of 13 types of lactic acid bacteria found in the stomachs of bees. The bacteria, which are no longer active in shop-bought honey, produce a myriad of active anti-microbial compounds.

….

Honey is an antibiotic because of bacteria in bee's stomachs
Honey has long been known, centuries in fact, to have extraordinary antibiotic properties. It’s the bacteria in the bee’s stomach…


By applying the bacteria to pathogens found in severe human wounds – including MRSA – scientists from Lund University, Sweden, found that the formula from a bee’s stomach successfully counteracted the infections.

Researchers believe that the formula works so potently because it contains a broad spectrum of active substances, unlike conventional man-made antibiotics.

My only sadness was in reading that the active ingredients had been killed by the time it is bought, honey must be pasteurised. Doing so would not just kill any bacteria but denature any ESMs left behind in the honey.

If you want the benefits you would likely have to eat raw honey. But one to store away for after the zombie apocalypse.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/bacteria-found-in-honeybee-stomachs-could-be-used-as-alternative-to-antibiotics-9724292.html