Lyon wrote:ScutFarkus wrote:Nothing to lose? Last time I looked into helminthic therapy, I was put off by the price and legal situation. I'm in the US, and as I recall it's $2500 or more to buy worms, plus the challenge and costs of traveling to a different country to actually receive the helminths. On top of that, it is an unproven and rather disgusting therapy.
I'm among the staunchest of proponents but I have to admit that you're right on every count. It's surprisingly expensive, gives the FDA the heebie jeebies and is pretty darned disgusting!
Still, while association doesn't imply causation, it's hard to ignore the seeming association at every turn between the progressive loss of evolutionary normal conditions as we industrialized nations "developed" and the increased incidence of inflammatory immune disease in those same locations and populations.
True, but there are also some theories about this that don't involve parasites. For example, improved diagnosis techniques, more indoor lifestyles (lack of sunshine), etc. The science is still far from settled on whether or not this trend is real, and if so, what's causing it.
In general, I think my view on therapies is that they need to be reasonably safe, plus at least two of the following: cheap, proven, and plausible. I'd say helminths have safe and plausible down, but so far are lacking on the other two. I'd probably try 10-15 worms myself if they were cheap.
A clinical trial good enough to get the FDA to back off in the US would do wonders, since there's no reason they ought to be expensive. Although they'd still present a heck of a challenge from a marketing perspective, given the whole "disgusting" thing. But I'm fine with that.