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Helminthic therapy (worm therapy) - welcome

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The hygiene hypothesis suggests that vaccination, antibiotics and bug-killing products have unhinged the immune systems of children. Humans have co-evolved with microbes and gut parasites/worms, and without them are vulnerable to inflammatory disorders. Our bug-free, vaccine obsessed, pesticide loving Western existence appears to have doomed us to allergy and autism.

Helminthic therapy, or less accurately worm therapy, is an idea derived from the hygiene hypothesis

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9. Harkiolaki M, Holmes SL, Svendsen P, et al. T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease due to low-affinity crossreactivity to common microbial peptides. . 20 Mar, 2009;30:348–357.
10. Mazmanian SK, Round JL, Kasper DL. A microbial symbiosis factor prevents intestinal inflammatory disease. . 29 May 2008;453(7195):620–625.
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Allergic Dermatitis: The Most Common Sign of Pet Allergies

Allergic Dermatitis: The #1 Sign Your Pet Has Allergies - And What to Do About It

The hygiene hypothesis states that although we have shifted rapidly into a clean, modern and civilized state, our bodies have not yet adapted, and our immune system is responding inappropriately with an increased susceptibility to allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Why Are Food Allergies on the Rise?
Currently, more than 15 million Americans, including millions of children, suffer from food allergies. Between 1997 and 2007, food allergies increased 18%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers aren’t sure why the prevalence of food allergies has increased, but several theories exist.

The hygiene hypothesis suggests that because of better sanitation and cleanliness, our immune systems mistake food proteins for foreign bacteria, viruses, and parasites, resulting in an attack against them. Some say the modern diet, which includes the consumption of genetically modified organisms in food, may play a part, although this theory isn’t well supported in the literature.

Fear and Allergies in the Lunchroom - Newsweek

Autism, immunity, inflammation, and the New York Times

The hygiene hypothesis states that a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents, symbiotic microorganisms (such as the gut flora or probiotics), and parasites increases susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing the natural development of the immune system.

The concept of the hygiene hypothesis is also quite simple, with the complexity being in the details. The thought that we have induced dysregulation into our immune systems by virtue of living in too clean an environment and the overeradication of infection is not new (see Figure 1), but it has gained favor with researchers who have begun to work out exactly why this may be the case. Some of these concepts were elegantly addressed by Weiss in an editorial in the , "Eat Dirt – The Hygiene Hypothesis and Allergic Disease."14 While there is no doubt that modern public health measures, such as adequate sewage systems, water treatment, the use of antibiotic agents, and various other aspects of modern hygiene have lessened deadly infectious outbreaks and prevented unnecessary deaths, as with most things, there is a yin and yang. This "clean new world" has likely resulted in a lack of adequate sampling of our environment, including exposure to all of the microbes that we share our planet with, particularly while we are young and our immune systems are developing the delicate balance between adequate defense and tolerance. In a 2010 paper in titled "Farm Living – Effects of Childhood Asthma and Allergy," authors Mutius and Vercelli state:

The Autism and Allergy Overlap | The Autism File
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  • Autoimmune Disease: A Modern Epidemic

    What Causes Allergies

  • Type 1 Diabetes - Scientific American

    Infections and Infestations

  • Initially there may be itching and a rash at the site of infection

    One-Cell Parasites – Protozoa

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Immune Disorders and Autism - The New York Times

Many following allergy and autism debates believe that both epidemics are man-made. And the medical community appears ready at last to consider this within the “hygiene hypothesis”:

HABRI | Child Health and Development

As reported by David Gutierrez in , researchers in a study conducted at the University of Nottingham point out that humans and gastrointestinal parasites might have coevolved in a way that the parasites actually help regulate the human immune system to prevent allergies.16 They believe that over the course of millions of years, gastrointestinal parasites have evolved the ability to suppress the human immune system as a survival mechanism. Because parasitic infestation has been so common throughout human evolutionary history, the human immune system has in turn evolved to compensate for this effect. This means that if the parasites are removed, the immune system may actually function too strongly, resulting in maladaptive immune responses such as asthma, allergies, and eczema. To test this concept the researchers studied over 1500 children in rural villages in Vietnam where parasitic infestation with hookworm is extremely common and allergies are not. Eradication of parasitic infection resulted in skyrocketing incidence of allergy, including dust mite sensitivity, supporting the hypothesis that parasites were modeling their immune response.

With issues such as the hygiene hypothesis, and the role of parasites in immune function in mind, gastroenterologist and researcher Dr. Joel Weinstock, originally at the University of Iowa and now Tufts University, has performed novel work with subjects with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).17 IBD was unheard of before the 20th century. Beginning of 20th-century incidence is thought to be about 1:10,000 and is now 1:250. Similar data exist with the incidences of asthma, hay fever, DM, MS, and so on. Weinstock conducted various studies of IBD patients and treated them with the therapeutic parasite Trichuris suis, a porcine whipworm, which was an ideal choice as it only remains viable in the human GI tract for a short time and must be continually administered. The organism, when introduced into patients with IBD induced changes in regulatory T cell function, blocked T cell proliferation, altered cytokine production and expression of innate immunity, altered the intestinal flora, and generally produced a lessening of symptoms and severity of disease. Pharmaceutical agents are now being developed along these lines to treat IBD.

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