Ulcerative Colitis &
Helminthic Therapy

Evidence for the use of the immunotherapy called helminthic therapy to treat Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis, which along with Crohn's are the the diseases that collectively are known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, involves chronic or acute inflammation of the colon as a result of immune dysregulation. Hence the use of immune modulating immunotherapy to alter the course of the disease.

Ulcerative Colitis results with helminthic therapy have been mixed to date. Ulcerative Colitis does not respond as well as other diseases treated using this approach when the organism used is hookworm. However, whipworm has provided excellent results in a small number of clients who have tried it, resulting in full remission so long as they continue to use the probiotic helminth, which lives on average for 18-30 months. Autoimmune Therapies guarantees a live infection, although not any particular outcome, for 18 months. Treatment with whipworm costs $2,900.00.

The earliest cases of IBD described in the medical literature appear in the 1930's, neatly coinciding with period of the first programs in the United States to eliminate helminths, allowing for a few years for the impact of that effort to be felt.

There is a lot of preliminary scientific evidence (see below) that immunotherapy in the form of helminthic therapy is effective in treating Ulcerative Colitis, supported by our results using whipworm-based immunotherapy. Hookworms did not produce satisfactory results when treating Ulcerative Colitis in our experience (33% satisfaction rate in our clients) so whipworm is our first-choice probiotic for Ulcerative Colitis.

Although the number we have helped with Crohn's is not statistically reliable, nor are our methods of observation and information gathering as exacting as required for scientific research, they do support the observations made in the scientific papers below.

We believe that almost everyone, although perhaps not all, having UC will benefit to a great degree from helminthic therapy, and that it is a safe option. Nor is that our opinion alone (see below again).

Having said that it is important to realize that immunotherapy, in the form of helminthic therapy, for Ulcerative Colitis is not a magic bullet. The results, while very good, are dependent upon continued hosting of the probiotic helminth, whipworm. Nor are the results miraculous. For many helminthic therapy for Crohn's Disease will be one of several, perhaps the most effective, treatment option. This means that to achieve full remission many patients will need to continue to use modern drugs, although perhaps at reduced levels. In our experience it takes from 14-20 weeks to reach remission.

To review the evidence for yourself please review the science section below. The full text of papers are available by contacting us


Helminthic Therapy & Ulcerative Colitis: Science

For a copy of the full text of any papers here, and many others, please contact us being sure to name the disease, or subject, you would like the papers to investigate.


Helminths as therapeutic agents (Helminthic Therapy) for inflammatory bowel disease

Abstract

Over the last decade major advances have been made in our understanding of the mechanisms and mediators of inflammation that hold the promise of the development of new therapies for inflammatory disease. While much is to be gleaned from the application of new technologies, assessment of the age-old host–parasite relationship may also provide insights on how to counter pathological inflammatory events. In the case of inflammatory bowel disease [particularly Crohn’s disease, which is associated with T helper 1 (Th1) events] it is proposed that infection with parasitic helminths would be beneficial: the paradigm being that of immune deviation, where Th2 cytokines mobilized in response to the helminth will prevent or antagonize the disease-promoting Th1 events in the gut. The situation is unlikely to be this simple. Here we review and critique the data in support of helminth therapy for inflammatory bowel disease, drawing attention to the gaps in knowledge and presenting a view on how the field may be advanced. While the concept of helminth therapy may be superficially unappealing, this review may convince the reader of the value of more extensive analyses of the impact of helminth infection on enteric inflammation.

Please contact us for the full text of this article. Or, you can access it here (payment required to access full text): Interscience (Wiley)


Helminths and the Modulation of Mucosal Inflammation

Abstract

This article summarizes some of the evidence that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results from an excessive immune response, reviews regulatory factors that control intestinal inflammation, shows that an environmental change permits development of IBD, and explains why the loss of exposure to helminths may be important for the emergence of IBD. The article also reviews some of our recent studies showing that helminths can inhibit or reverse Colitis in animal models of IBD and that patients with IBD improve when exposed to Trichuris suis. Full Text Free Online


Helminths and Harmony

Abstract

Mounting evidence suggests that helminths help regulate mucosal inflammation: The frequency of Crohn’s disease (CD) has increased substantially over the last 50 years. It is most prevalent in highly industrialised temperate regions. CD and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) are rare in less developed countries. This suggests that critical environmental factors affect the worldwide distribution of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The‘‘IBD hygiene hypothesis’’ states that raising children in extremely hygienic environments negatively affects immune development which predisposes them to immuno- logical diseases such as IBD.1 It is also postulated that the modern day lack of exposure to helminths due to our hygienic practices is an important environmental factor contributing to IBD. Until modern times, nearly all children and most adults harbored intestinal helminths. Helminths and the immune system of Homo sapiens co-evolved in close proximity over many 1000s of years. Helminths regulate their host’s immune system and prevent excessive inflammatory responses, which could underlie the mechanism of protection.

Please contact us for the full text of this article. Or, you can access it here (payment required to access full text): BMJ (Gut)


Gastrointestinal Parasites: Potential Therapy (Helminthic Therapy) for Refractory Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Abstract

Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis are chronic relapsing inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Different pharmacological agents are currently used in several combinations to control the inflammatory process. Recently, antibodies against the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha appeared to be very effective in treating patients with Crohn’s disease. However, due to the fact that the pathogen causing IBD is still unknown, no causative treatment is currently available that is able to make the disease disappear. Recently, the hygiene hypothesis of the development of immunological diseases was proposed, stating that raising children in extremely hygienic environments with less exposure to parasite infections may negatively affect the development of the immune system, predisposing them to immunologic diseases such as IBD. This hypothesis is supported by experimental data showing that helminthic parasites protect against T helper (TH) type 1 cell-mediated gastrointestinal inflammations like Crohn’s disease. Both TH-2 cells and regulatory T-cells may be involved in this immunomodulatory mechanism. Here, we review the experimental and clinical studies in favor of the hygiene hypothesis, opening perspectives on new therapies for IBD.

Please contact us for the full text of this article. Or, you can access it here (payment required to access full text): Interscience (Wiley)


Helminths as Governors of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Abstract

The incidence of the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) markedly increased in industrialized countries during the last decades. In contrast to these countries where helminths are rare, IBD si still uncommon in global areas where most people carry worms. Thus lack of exposure to parasites may critically contribute to the risk of IBD. In a recent article in Gut, Summers et al. demonstrated efficacy of treatment with Trichuris suis in active CD. Trichuris suis was additionally show to be effective in UC in a randomized trial carried out by the same group. Both studies did not address mechanisms of action. Here we present a real life scenario, which supports the impact of helminths in the prevention of IBD, and provide a rationale for the mechanisms of action.

Please contact us for the full text of this article. Or, you can access it here (payment required to access full text): BMJ (Gut)