Science Questions

Sun, 13th Nov 2005

Part of the show Parasites, Hookworms and Allergies


Malcolm in Essex asked:

If tapeworms make you really skinny, why don't you give them to fat people until they lose weight and then take them out?


I'm not sure it's true that people with worms are thinner than people without worms. In fact the person who brought the worms back from New Guinea was the fattest person in the lab and still is despite the fact he's still carrying 300 worms. The other interesting thing related to worms and connected to the previous caller from the States is that they give you an insatiable appetite. When you have these hookworms, you just can't stop eating. Whether you put on less weight despite eating more, I'm not too sure. But I don't think that people are thinner if they had worms, so it probably wouldn't work on fat people.


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