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#419767 - 04/27/10 05:35 PM Worms: Are they good or bad for us?
Machismo Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
"Does this prove anything? Not really, the data is simply correlative," says Tara C. Smith, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology.

Mmmmm. When an attractive woman distinguishes between causality and mere correlation, it gets me hot! coopdevil

...what was I saying? Oh, the article. Scientists are finding correlations between worm presence or absence in the human body and that body's immune system responsiveness, be it too little, too much, or just right.

Worms: Are they good or bad for us?
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#419769 - 04/27/10 05:38 PM Re: Worms: Are they good or bad for us? [Re: Machismo]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
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Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6999
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
Sounds like she's saying something I've always said...just in a more smarter way...you just ain't healthy if you haven't eaten enough dirt in your life.
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#419779 - 04/27/10 07:07 PM Re: Worms: Are they good or bad for us? [Re: Machismo]
Branwyn Offline


Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Montana, USA
It's interesting that she briefly mentions that asthma levels may be lower in populations with parasitic worms, since I've read several sources that suggest the opposite: that parasitic worms may provoke asthma. Like this research, they've only shown correlation, but in one particular study, 198 of 201 of patients in Ontario with bronchial asthma were found to have worms, whereas all of the asthma-free controls were worm-free*.

If I had to make a very un-scientific guess, I'd guess that some worms (read: species) may have benefits that outweigh the costs, but that many are quite unpleasant and are best avoided.

*Source (and a very highly recommended book): New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers: Tales of Parasites and People by Robert S. Desowitz.

~Branwyn
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#419823 - 04/28/10 03:37 AM Re: Worms: Are they good or bad for us? [Re: Machismo]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Albeit disturbing,she makes a good point.

And upon seeing these pictures ,I've gotta say,"GET ME SOME WORMS!"
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#419844 - 04/28/10 01:31 PM Re: Worms: Are they good or bad for us? [Re: ArtAche86]
Mithril Offline


Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 9
Loc: UK
A couple of years ago I read about experiments about using modified Ancylostoma duodenale in the therapy of allergies and it was said that it works. It's possible that in the future they'll be used for immunological conditions. To the subject "Lack of worms- more other diseases": weaker animals are dying because of massive parasitic infection, when there's no parasites they die from other conditions or predators and it's part of natural selection.

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#419912 - 04/29/10 04:53 AM Re: Worms: Are they good or bad for us? [Re: Branwyn]
Machismo Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Branwyn
If I had to make a very un-scientific guess, I'd guess that some worms (read: species) may have benefits that outweigh the costs, but that many are quite unpleasant and are best avoided.


I agree. As with everything else in life, we'll see the Goldilocks principle play out; I.e., for any given parasite there will be a just right range of quantity, zero for one parasite, "some" for another, "lots" for another, with the words in quotes equating to definite ranges for the given parasite. Baby Bear's bed will be the one we want to sleep in. Science will determine where in the room it's located.

tiki Hail Science! tiki
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