Parasitic Worms May Help Treat Diseases Associated With Obesity
Parasitic relation can also be a symbiotic relation – isn’t that surprising? We have a reason to rejoice with a new research showing that parasitic worms can actually help treat some metabolic disorders associated with obesity. This may sound unbelievable, but yes, researchers have claimed that a sugar molecule (specifically known as glycan) is released by the parasites in the body, which helps them to avoid attacks by the host’s immune system. Since the human body’s immune system does not identify the parasite, there is no inflammation and they are able to hide in the body’s tissues. This makes the human experience very few symptoms, which helps them to never reveal their presence in the body (Science News).
The researchers hypothesized that the glycan molecule might have some benefit in complications related to obesity; therefore they tested their hypothesis on obese mice. Mice that received the glycan treatment became obese, but they did not suffer from other metabolic disorders like insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides, but the control group exhibited these conditions (Science News).
One interesting thing, which the researchers pointed out, is that, the same sugar excreted by the parasite was also found in human breast milk and also in the developing human fetus. Proper metabolic functions in new born could be the result of these sugars, according to the researchers (Science News).
Some scientists are actually of the opinion that parasites share a good relation with humans, rather than a bad one. In some countries, where prevalence of inflammatory diseases is low, it is seen that people living in those countries are commonly affected with worms (Science News).
The researchers further added that, in addition to obesity-related diseases, it can also work well as a treatment for psoriasis and in organ transplants (Science News).
I am particularly keen in following up on this research as I have a family history of obesity and I fear I will be obese one day. I would like to watch out for treatments that reduce the risk of all those conditions associated with obesity.
Parasitic Worms May Help Treat Diseases Associated With Obesity. Science News. Science Daily. Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108112451.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: