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Originally published October 18 2009

How to Avoid Health Harming Parasites

by Alex Howard

(NaturalNews) Technically a parasite is any organism that lives off another organism, so this could include bacteria, fungi and viruses. However for the purposes of health, when talking about parasites we are referring to protozoa (single celled organisms), arthropods (insects) and worms that invade and feed off the host organism, often causing them harm. This can range from mild symptoms to serious illness, as well as chronic health issues.

Parasites can range from microscopic single cell protozoa to worms that are 15 feet long. The most common protozoan parasites in humans are Giardia lamblia, Enteramoeba histolytica, Blastocystis hominis and Crytosporidium. These are mostly picked up from contaminated food and water supplies and poor personal hygiene. The most common arthropods, apart from head lice are mites, ticks and fleas. These can carry other smaller cell wall-free bacteria like Borrelia burgdferi, responsible for Lyme`s disease. The most common worms are pinworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hook worms, Guinea worms and filarial. These can be contracted from traveling in undeveloped regions, contaminated water, pets and meat and fish.

Most people think parasite infections only occur in undeveloped countries; however, it is now estimated that as many as one out of six Americans for example, have parasite infections. Most of them do not realize it.

Acute infections with parasites like Giardia result in explosive or watery diarrhea within 3-5 days of exposure. Acute cases can also result in lowered immunity and nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, weight loss, blackouts, muscular and skeletal pain, blood sugar swings and menstrual irregularities.

Chronic parasite infections have been linked to chronic diseases like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Arthritis. Some people may not experience symptoms from a chronic parasite infection, but others will experience the following symptoms:

-Intermittent diarrhea and constipation
-Weight loss and inability to gain weight
-Allergic reactions to food
-Mucus in the stool
-Night sweats

The most common sources or causes of parasite infections are:
-Contaminated water
-Contaminated food
-Foreign Travel
-Sexual intercourse
-Poor hygiene
-Poor food preparation practices
-Occasionally infections can even be inhaled.
-Eating raw fish or sushi increases your chance of parasitic infections. Only go to good quality sushi bars which sell the freshest produce.
-Cut out all sugar and white refined carbohydrates as these feed parasites and encourage them to breed.

Foods that Fight Parasites Include:

Papaya, pomegranate and pineapple have anti-parasitic properties.Other anti-parasitic foods include raw garlic, fresh figs, onions, raw cabbage, kelp, blackberries, finely ground pumpkin seeds and ground almonds. Other good foods are those which feed good bacteria in the gut including bananas, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, oats and salsify.

Cut out coffee, wheat and all cow`s dairy as these can irritate your gut when you have a parasite infection. Drink pure filtered water instead of tap water.


Wash utensils after cutting meat and use a separate cutting board for meat. Spores from meat can seep into a cutting board and contaminate vegetables or anything else you put on the board Make sure you wash your hands after handling raw meat and fish.


Pets harbor worms and other parasites so do not sleep near your pets. De-worm your pets regularly and keep their sleep areas clean. Do not let pets lick your face and do not let your pet eat off your plate.

About the author

Alex Howard is author of "WHY ME? My Journey from M.E. to Health and Happiness" and founder of The Optimum Health Clinic, an award winning clinic specialising in M.E./C.F.S./Fibromyalgia based in Harley Street Clinic, London, UK. The clinic has treated over 5,000 patients with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia in over twenty-five countries around the world, and is currently running a two year clinical trial in conjunction with two top universities. A free information pack, including a 75 documentary about the clinic and its work, can be ordered from

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