Getting Enough Worms?

– – In the earlier 20th century and prior to that time when dirt roads, horses, and cattle were more prevalent in life than they are now, every child and adult had worms in their gastrointestinal tract!  These worms were part of the ecosystem of the gut, and aided in controlling human immune reactions in order that they might live successfully in people. In the last 100 years or so, a more hygienic environment was created for people which led to immune disregulation, and so, one theory would have it, to an increase in certain immunological diseases.  A more sedentary lifestyle and a lack of physical activity also renders people more prone to certain illnesses and ailments to a degree not seen in the past.

Such immunological and metabolic diseases and conditions may include multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes, asthma, obesity, and even hay fever (now suffered by 1 in 4 people in the United States).  Improvements in hygiene have reduced infections, but along with that have reduced exposure of the immune system to antigens, such as compounds from viruses and bacteria.  Bodily regulation mechanisms then tend to become less effective, and certain illnesses and conditions are suffered to degrees not seen in the past.

(…but I’ll still pass on the worms, thank you!)

Explore posts in the same categories: historical perspectives, medical, science

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3 Comments on “Getting Enough Worms?”

  1. carycomic Says:



  2. carycomic Says:

    Of course, isn’t that how most “Third World” worms transfer from host-body to host-body? By “passing?”

    *Insert “groan” here.*


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