Tapeworm Diet

I’m going to be up front with you.  I absolutely do not recommend the tapeworm diet.

You may have seen the tapeworm diet mentioned in a Tyra Banks show years ago where the diet was discussed as a means of losing weight.  To Tyra’s credit, she was actually speaking against using this diet.  More recently, Khloe Kardashian made a statement in one of her shows that she was considering ingesting a tapeworm to lose weight.  Not cool!

The beef tapeworm, Taenia saginata, is the tapeworm that has been publicized and used for weight loss.  There are other types of tapeworms present in pork and fish, but these are not the tapeworms that are used in the quest for weight loss.

A human will acquire the infection by ingesting tapeworms eggs present in contaminated, under cooked meat.  The eggs will enter the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and hatch producing larvae which eventually mature to the adult form.  The tapeworm will attach itself to the GI tract with a scolex which is a spiky appendage on top of the tapeworm’s head.  It then begins to feed from the food that you are eating.

The tapeworm not only consumes some of the caloric intake, but also leeches vitamins and minerals from the intestinal tract.  This can result in anemia and fatigue.

Other potential side effects include nausea, weakness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and ascites (fluid in the abdominal cavity).  There is also the possibility that the tapeworm will reproduce so prolifically that an intestinal blockage may result.  And, yes, one of the byproducts is weight loss.  But is the weight loss worth ingesting the tapeworm?  Absolutely not.

The only way to get rid of the parasite once you are infected is to take Praziquantel which is an antiparasitic medication.  You then pass the dead tapeworm(s) in the feces.

The diagnosis of tapeworm is done by examining the stool or by performing an imaging study such as a CAT scan or an MRI.

Selling tapeworm eggs is against the law in the United States.  Apparently, tapeworm eggs can be bought in other countries like Mexico and Russia.  Buyer beware!

The only way to lose weight in a consistent, healthy manner is to monitor your diet and exercise.  This is not a secret, but we often pursue the easy and fast results.  There are a lot of crazy diets out there, but this is more than just crazy.  This is dangerous.

Wishing you success in your weight loss and maintenance, Pablo.

Turmeric For Weight Loss

You probably have heard quite a bit about using turmeric as a weight loss supplement lately.  It is yet another quick fix to the overweight problem.  The current literature seems to support the claims of weight loss with turmeric.  Remember, however, that there aren’t fast solutions to weight management.  Like other supplements and diets, the turmeric may work for as long as you use it, but the weight will return after you stop the turmeric if you don’t change your lifestyle.

Turmeric is a naturally occurring spice that has been used for multiple medical conditions ranging from autoimmune disease to fatigue.  There is some evidence that turmeric may help osteoarthritis and increased cholesterol.

There are, however, potential side effects to this supplement.

Turmeric acts like an estrogen so there is the possibility of encouraging uterine fibroid growth if you have fibroids.  Also, be careful if you have a gynecologic malignancy like endometrial cancer as turmeric may worsen the condition.  It’s also a good idea to avoid turmeric if you have or have had breast cancer with positive estrogen receptors.

Ironically, turmeric is recommended for stomach disorders like indigestion, but the turmeric may evoke stomach upset and nausea along with dizziness.

People with gallbladder problems like stones should avoid the turmeric as the turmeric will worsen the gallbladder symptoms.

Users of turmeric should cease taking the supplement if they are facing surgery as the turmeric will slow blood clotting.

As with all supplements, you should tell your medical provider what you are taking.

I hope that this has helped answer questions that you have on this supplement.  Wishing you continued success with your weight loss and management.  Pablo

Freeze Dried Poop for Weight Loss

There is a hypothesis being tested to see if eating fecal matter from a thin person will help an obese person shed weight.  No, I am not making this up.

The study is being conducted at the prestigious Mass General Hospital.  For six weeks, some of the twenty patients in the study will eat a tiny amount of poop taken from a thin person and then encapsulated.  The other patients will take a placebo.  The patients will then be followed for twelve months.  If the hypothesis is correct, the patients eating the poop capsules will lose more weight than the patients taking the placebo.

The stool samples are analyzed to make certain that they contain the right type of bacteria.  The fecal matter is provided by a company called OpenBiome.  This company has been providing fecal matter, either in pill form or in its natural form, to physicians for use in fecal transplants in patients suffering from the potentially fatal gastrointestinal infection from Clostridium difficile.  This infection is known as pseudomembranous colitis.  The transplant occurs either by ingesting the pill or having the fecal matter transplanted via colonoscopy.  So there has already been medical precedent for using poop.

There is some evidence that eating poop from a thin person will help the overweight person lose weight.  This is shown by a study conducted in 2013 which transplanted human feces into mice.  The mice given the sample from the overweight subject gained weight while the mice given the sample from the normal weight person maintained a healthy weight.  There is also another study where feces from fat mice are transplanted to thin mice.  The thin mice then gained weight.

Research has shown that obese people have a considerable amount of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract called Firmicutes, and low numbers of another form of bacteria known as Bacteroidetes.  Weight loss causes an increase in Bacteroidetes and a decrease in Firmicutes.

It is thought by some nutritionists that eating fiber will increase the number of bacteria responsible for keeping you thin.  It’s been known for a long time that eating fiber helps with weight loss by giving the person a feeling of fullness.  Now it appears that the fiber may also be working by encouraging the growth of weight loss bacteria in your gut.

There is still considerable argument about the benefits of eating poop for weight loss.  It is not an approved therapy yet.

Would you really eat poop to get thin?  This is a question that only you can answer.

In my opinion, I would rather exercise and eat the right types of food.   Wishing you success with your weight management and loss, Pablo.