(NaturalNews) The government of Hong Kong recently issued a warning to its citizens against ingesting Ascaris worms for weight loss purposes. One of the latest diet crazes in the country, the practice of eating the giant intestinal roundworms has become so popular that the nation's Department of Health decided to make a public statement in opposition to it.
The idea behind eating worms to lose weight is that the parasites burrow in the gut and help to eat people's food, thus reducing the amount of ingested calories. As revolting as it sounds, the practice has become quite popular in the developed far east where obesity rates have been steadily climbing. Long work days, unhealthy diets, and limited exercise are all factors that have resulted in a sharp increase in the number of overweight Hongkongers.
Ascaris worms can grow up to 40 centimeters in length and lay up to 200,000 eggs a day inside a person's intestine. According to spokesmen from the Hong Kong Department of Health, the parasites can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and malnutrition. They can also cause more serious problems like biliary and pancreatic duct obstruction and lung invasion, all of which can eventually lead to death.
The announcement was not the first issued by the department. Back in 2008, it issued a similar warning against advertised diet programs that involved consuming worm eggs in order to lose weight. The agency urged its citizens to avoid any diet programs that involved parasites or parasite eggs because they have never been proven to be effective at instigating weight loss and they are highly dangerous.
Parasites are very problematic because they can infest the body and leech important nutrients from food. When trying to take over its host, parasites will do whatever it takes to survive and thrive. Not only do they feast on food and nutrients but they also release harmful toxins into the body which eventually cause serious problems.
Typically, people get parasites from visiting third-world countries or coming in contact with tainted food or contaminated water. Eating uncooked or undercooked meats and fish that are contaminated is another common way of getting parasites.
Ridding the body of parasites can be difficult depending on the condition of a person's immune system and digestive function. Anti-parasitic herbs or special diets that starve parasites can be effective at cleansing one's system and bringing him or her back to proper health. Many have cleared up acne this way and cured conditions like leaky gut syndrome and candida that were caused by parasites.
Whatever the case may be, consuming parasites is dangerous and causes far more problems than benefits.