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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.

For example, I have read that pumpkin seeds, pineapple, coconut milk or oil, fennel, cumin, turmeric, etc., etc., all “kill hookworms”.

One major example of this type of myth, and it seems a universally accepted example, was created by me. That of nitrous oxide.

Sorry about that.

Despite my best attempts to change the belief about nitrous oxide killing hookworms it persists, which demonstrates how powerful just writing something down on the internet can be.

The fact is that none of these things kills hookworm or whipworms, as a simple thought experiment demonstrates.

If coconut milk or oil (or insert name of food or drink commonly used throughout the world here) killed either hookworms or whipworms this would have been noticed long ago. Both are widespread in the diet in SE Asia, so they would be used as folk remedies in places where either hookworm and whipworm are endemic and public health issues as a result.

If that does not convince you this might. When we started doing this in mid 2007 I already knew that the pathology labs were useless for parasite and ova tests to confirm infection. Our clients were going to these idiots and being told that they were not infected, and naturally enough they were upset. So, out of necessity we started offering parasite and ova tests, we felt we had no choice. We soon learned that all of our clients were successfully infected, that no one ever lost their population, no matter what was going on, and that the path labs were indeed useless. I have speculated about why elsewhere, but anyone who has had their nose near a slide covered in someone’s, often mouldy, excrement for long enough to perform the test competently can tell you.

I believe that people who experience a loss of efficacy, which is easily done early on, are almost universally confusing that loss of efficacy for loss of their helminth population.

But, while the observation of loss of efficacy is trustworthy, 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. Not that your helminths are dead, not even that the thing you ate is responsible, unless that was all you ate. That is never the case with those making these claims. Why choose coconut milk out of all the ingredients in all the dishes you ate in the last couple of days, is an obvious question.

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. Antibiotics, which do NOT kill hookworms or whipworms are an example.

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

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. 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. We have also observed in many instances a loss of efficacy associated with antibiotic use.

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.

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 has never in my experience meant the death of the helminths.

To illustrate how powerful the act of writing something down in public, on the internet is, I shall admit here 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.

There are some subjects whose disease results from, or confers on them some higher level of immunity to helminths. Those with Crohn’s or Colitis are likely to be more immune to either hookworms or whipworms or to both, but their immunity is not absolute.

It just means that they have to take doses of either organism more frequently than most to retain a therapeutic response. Helminths survive in them for long periods, just shorter amounts of time than in those without those diseases.

Similarly for a small subset of those with Atopic disorders, though the mechanism is not clear. That is I am not certain that they are killing their helminths off faster than most. Just that they experience a similar periodicity to their therapeutic response to helminths and that they too require dosing with helminths on the same time interval as those with Crohn’s or Colitis in order to maintain benefits.

Finally, these things have coevolved with us and our genetic ancestors for so long they are able to exert enormous and subtle control over our immune systems. How likely is it that anything we eat or drink would harm them?

As to concerns about newer things, like antihistamines or other drugs, the discussion above about it having to survive in your blood in sufficient concentrations, and to be harmful to helminths but not to you still holds.

Finally, there is my experience, which for a long time involved performing parasite and ova tests for clients to reassure them that they remained infected.

I have never seen a subject who lost their helminth infection, except as a result of taking Albendazole or Mebendazole, or as a result of having Crohn’s disease or Colitis and for two subjects with allergies or asthma (Atopy).

I may have seen it as a result of having an Atopic disorder in half a dozen of the hundreds I have treated for Atopy, but I was only able to observe that their helminth populations were dead through stool tests in two cases.

Chances are more than excellent therefore that you are worried about nothing. That if you have experienced a loss of efficacy that that is all it is, and that you will regain your good health soon. If you have not lost efficacy and are here because of something you have read elsewhere you should stop worrying now. I hope so, because stress is well known to have deleterious effects for those with immunological disorders, that is very well documented.

Please note that in cases of lost efficacy as a result of antibiotic use it is believed possible to shorten the period of loss of efficacy by taking a supplemental “off-schedule” dose of helminths.

  • Any stool test is problematic in terms of knowing you have an active infection. If you believe common foods like coconut milk, pumpkin seeds, pineapple, all foods I have read that people believe kill hookworms, how do you know with certainty you did not kill them an hour ago and are looking at the ova of now dead hookworms?
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