About Helminthic Therapy

Immune therapy based on beneficial micro organisms

Immunotherapy based on the use of helminths, helminthic therapy, was the obvious result of a theory published in the Lancet called “The Hygiene Hypothesis.” Hundreds of research projects investigating this scientific hypothesis since it was published in 1986 have refined it from its relatively simple beginning. Because it works so well to describe the rise of immunological diseases in the West it is now widely accepted, and this is shown by how commonly it is referenced in articles about these diseases: news link.

As you read through all the information available on the web, and through the scientific and medical literature, you will begin to understand that some helminths really are our “old friends” and that their absence in our increasingly sterile lives has resulted in a huge increase in the number of people with diseases involving immune dysregulation or autoimmunity.

Here is the Hygiene Hypothesis in simple terms. It is now thought by many scientists that the human immune system depends upon exposure to a variety of organisms, in particular helminths, for proper development and functioning. The reason for this is believed to be that we co-evolved with these organisms, because they have almost always been present in our bodies. The sudden, in genetic terms, of the removal of these organisms from our bodies by modern hygiene is now believed by many scientists to be a major factor in the malfunction of many people’s immune systems.

The result is the massive increase in conditions like allergies, Crohn's, asthma, diabetes, etc., in developed countries. In the developing world diseases like these are still very rare.

That this is true is obvious when you compare the number of people suffering from autoimmune diseases in the sterile industrialized countries with those living in so-called "Third world" countries, where there is poor sanitation, and hence high level of parasitic infection. Many countries in Africa, South America and Asia do not have high levels of diseases like Type I Diabetes, MS, Crohn’s, Asthma, allergies, Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis, as just some examples.

As we have made our immediate surroundings increasingly sterile we have not only eliminated harmful, disease-causing bugs, but most of the beneficial organisms from our bodies. The result is that our immune systems do not develop or function properly. It is no coincidence that all of the so-called modern diseases start to become more common after the introduction of clean drinking water, sewers, antibiotics and vaccinations, as countries industrialize and become more wealthy.

This idea may sound strange at first. To better understand it think of the human body as an ecosystem. An ecosystem only works properly when there is a variety and balance of interdependent organisms. Eliminating so many species from our bodies and from our environment has had two effects:

  1. Huge benefits to our health from the effective elimination of harmful organisms such as those which cause cholera, typhoid, measles, mumps, tuberculosis, etc.

  2. An unexpected and unwelcome increase in the so called modern diseases, such as allergies, asthma, autism, Crohn’s, MS, Ulcerative Colitis, Coeliac Disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Grave’s Disease, etc.

We have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

Helminthic therapy is just one step in restoring the natural environment in our bodies. The growing probiotic industry and the availability of natural yoghurts touting the health benefits of deliberately infecting yourself with trillions of the micro organisms that they contain is an indication of the possibilities.