Healthy Living

Protein Secreted by Parasitic Worms May Treat Crohn's and Colitis

Is it because of our environment?

Although there is potential of intestinal parasites for the treatment of different types of IBD, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, there is still a lot of research that needs to be conducted before any accurate and final conclusions can be made. Researchers are hopeful that the mechanism of helminths and other microorganisms can contribute to knowledge for new therapeutic approaches to several forms of inflammatory diseases. “It turns out that countries where IBD is common are those industrialized, developed nations like the U.S., where there are no intestinal helminths. Conversely, where helminths are prevalent, the incidence of IBD is very low,” said Robert W. Summers, gastroenterologist. “In fact, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis really emerged in the U.S. during the 1920s and 1930s, when we began to shift to improved plumbing and sanitation and we no longer fertilized soil with both human and animal waste. Until then, these parasites were very common. And we didn't have much IBD,” he added.