Eating worms may cure bowel disease, according to an article in New Scientist , 10 April 2004, p8. Joel Weinstock (University of Iowa), a medical specialist in digestive system diseases, has recently completed a clinical trial of a new treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – incurable inflammatory diseases of the intestines. The treatment consisted of a drink containing pig whipworm eggs. It worked for half the ulcerative colitis patients and 70 percent of the Crohn’s patients. Pig whipworms were used because they don’t become permanent parasites in humans and cause the problems human whip worms do, such as anaemia. Weinstock decided to try this treatment when he noticed (a) that the rapid rise of inflammatory bowel diseases in Western countries occurred at the same time parasitic infections were falling and (b) inflammatory diseases are rare in places where worm infestations are common. According to New Scientist Weinstock believes our immune systems have evolved to cope with the presence of parasites, and can become overactive without them.
Editorial Comment: This study provides some clues to the origin of parasitic diseases, and helps answer sceptics who claim that a good God would not have made disease causing parasites therefore there is no God. In the original good world God created (see Genesis 1, 2) worms may have lived harmlessly and helpfully, in the intestines of humans and animals cleaning up debris. They would not have been parasites. Therefore our immune systems would have been designed to cope with the presence of worms and keep them under control. Since the fall (Genesis 3) and the flood (Genesis 6-9), both the worms and our immune systems have degenerated. The end result is disease. (Ref. worms, parasites, disease)