Daily Mail



MEDICAL treatments that might make your stomach turn. This week: Parasites to help crohn’s disease HAVING parasitic worms in the bowel may reduce symptoms of Crohn’s disease (an inflammato­ry bowel condition that triggers abdominal pain and diarrhoea), according to research in the journal Gut.

In the 2005 study by Iowa University in the U.S., 29 people with Crohn’s were given 2,500 live Trichuris suis worm eggs to ingest every three weeks.

At the end of the six-month study 23 had fewer symptoms and 21 had none — and no side-effects.

The theory is parasitic worms, or helminths, dampen the more aggressive parts of the immune system to aid their survival — which has the effect of controllin­g inflammato­ry diseases such as Crohn’s. ‘In time we will have treatments based on substances that helminths produce,’ says Graham Rook, an emeritus professor of medical microbiolo­gy at University College London.

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