Gluten-free Hookworms (GNW 2/11/09: 5 Second Grab)

A Brisbane researcher may have found a therapy for gluten intolerance – hookworms! They just love gluten!

The parasite burrows through the skin before travelling via the bloodstream to live in your gut. Or if you want to take the gluten and the cure in one go, just chow down on a hookworm sandwich.

Sure, they’re gross, disturbing, nasty little beasties, but if we can cure their coeliac disease, I say we let them have the treatment.

If it sounds like an extreme solution, you obviously haven’t tried gluten-free bread.

Unfortunately, no-one’s worked out how to cure coeliac disease in hookworms.

The only problem is if you get a coeliac hookworm.

Next, the scientists are going to try curing arsecancer with scorpions. Worth a try, huh?

Sure, it’s helped with their coeliac disease – if only there was some way to rid them of their hookworm infestations.

So now the choice is yours – get infected with intestinal parasites that look like THIS (show horrendous graphic), or just lay off the bread.

Of course there’s a risk of death by anaemia or malnutrition. But at least you could eat bread doing it.

But researchers warn that you still should only eat moderate amounts of gluten. Otherwise the worm could take over your entire body and just use you as a wheat-hunting host.

See, if you don’t digest anything, you can’t be intolerant to it!

Over 250,000 Australians have coeliac disease, but scientists are yet to find a single hookworm with it.

Finally, a hideous intestinal parasite that can enable coeliacs to sample the orgasmic wonders of bread. It’s a taste sensation that can’t be beat!

The research is based on the theory that the human immune system requires exposure to foreign organisms to function properly. That’s why, before every meal, I inject myself with squid. Just in case. / with slugs. Just in case.

Antibodies in a coeliac disease sufferer attack the wall of the bowel, which increases the chances of bowel cancer. But at least they’re free of worm infestations. / free of intestinal parasites.

An alternate cure for coeliac disease involves filling your stomach with wet cement.

It’s all related to the “hygiene hypothesis” – that allergies are caused by a lack of exposure to foreign organisms. It’s a well-known fact that people who died of the plague had no problems with gluten.

And if coeliacs still have problems after the hookworm treatment, they’ll try infecting them with dropsy, mange, smallpox… whatever they’ve got lying around.

Admittedly, there is a “yuck factor” in allowing yourself to be infested with parasitic worms. But it’s worth it for the heady delights of eating a piece of bread.

Admittedly, there is a “yuck factor” in allowing yourself to be infested with parasitic worms. So scientists are now renaming the creatures “hookpuppies”. / are now giving them little bow-ties.

It’s not just a cure for coeliac disease, but nutrition!

But if the hookworms don’t work, there’s always stomach-piranhas. I hear they LOVE bread.

And if you’re lactose-intolerant, there’s hope for you too – crabs! / pubic lice! / bowelfungus!

Unfortunately the only cure for hookworm infestation seems to be bowel cancer.

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