The Biggest Loser: Parasite Ingestion Edition


| 3 Comments

As the constant reminders of the need to trim down a little (uh hello the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show anyone?) progress, people are turning to more and more radical options to lose weight.  Eating disorders are one thing, but now people are ingesting tapeworms in order to help them lose weight.  Once they reach their target weight, and antibiotic is taken and that rids them of the parasite...supposedly.

People think that tapeworms will simply live in their stomachs and eat their food before it is digested, but what they don't realize is that tapeworms can actually travel in their bodies and attach to their brain or spinal cords, causing some serious neurological damage.

Not to mention, the tapeworm will also eat up all the nutrients your body needs to. Sure, you will be able to consume more but still lose weight, but is it really worth the risk?

Here are some other symptoms associated with this "diet":

-Abdominal pain

-Weakness

-Headache

-Diarrhea

-Bloating

I'm sorry, but none of that sounds enticing. I'd rather sweat it off at the gym thank you very much.

Okay, here comes the vomit.

tapeworm.jpg

People are writing on these blogs actually advocating for this diet, saying that it worked for them and they achieved their desired look. I don't know about you, but no "look" would make me put my body in such danger. Now, that being said, the argument could be made that people do drastic and harmful things to their body all the time to achieve the look they want, like tanning.

I think the bigger issue here is that people are willing to try it, not that it is readily available. I don't see how this can be deemed "ethical" to allow people to infect themselves.  Then again, Botox is technically poison and people use that all the time. It does not, though, pose as many risks as ingesting a living organism, let alone a parasite that is likely to travel to other place in your body via the blood stream.

It is important to note that it is illegal in the U.S. and in most countries. One of the only places right now that offer this "treatment" is Mexico for about $1500. But who knows, it could be banned there soon too.

I am actually horrified that people do this in order to lose weight. 

What do you guys think about this extreme diet? Is it worth it?

References:

http://www.everydiet.org/diet/tapeworm-diet-using-beef-tapeworms-in-humans

http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/diets/tapeworm-diet/

3 Comments

I found this movie that is about a parasite in humans. The parasites are like the ones in the crickets, but it got into the humans. It is a fiction movie. Here is the link(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYJt3kEzsrk). We talked about these parasite a few days ago. I got to wonder if people can actually take some benefits from their abnormal ways of living. I found out that "scientists have discovered that certain parasites have the ability to interfere with autoimmune diseases.(sources: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/5-reasons-parasites-beneficial.htm#page=2) Also, some types of parasites can be used in farming to kill off the harmful insects too.

While I don't agree with ingesting harmful parasites to get a desired look, I get why people may not see and understand the risks involved. Especially since we discussed some of the more unconventional ways doctors and scientists are using to cure diseases in class, including other parasites (Trichuris suis) and human feces, it doesn't surprise me that people are willing to give tapeworms a try. Granted tapeworms do have a greater risk of negative effects than these already practiced methods. I think scientists should find a way to utilize these worms as a safer way weight loss than they are being used for now, since they have already looked into using parasites to ail other conditions. That way people will not have to illegally buy something that could do that much harm to their bodies. By genetically altering the tapeworm so it cannot reproduce or live outside of the gut would create a safer situation for human hosts.

People see magazines. They see television. They see movies. Girls all over the country watched the Victoria Secret Fashion show on tuesday. People will do whatever it takes to be thin. Do you think that hydroxycut was safe? No it was horrible for you. Our society has imprinted our mind to believe that you have to be skinny to be happy. While society believes this, people will be able to market anything.

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