What Type of Parasites do You Have?
“Parasites have killed more people than all the wars in the history of humankind” National Geographic
Intestinal parasites are abnormal and unwanted inhabitants of the gastrointestinal system that have the potential to cause damage to their host. They consume nutrients from the foods we are eating and they puncture holes in the intestinal membrane. Humans can play host to more than a hundred different types of parasites. Follow these strategies to protect your body from the damage done by parasites.
Parasites can range from microscopic amoeba to 10 foot long tapeworms. These parasites and their eggs can enter the circulation and travel to various organs such as the liver where they can cause abscesses and cirrhosis (1, 2). They can also migrate to the lungs causing pneumonia and into the joints, brain, muscles, esophagus and skin where they cause hyper inflammatory processes (3).
Chronic parasitic infections are linked with intestinal permeability and leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, irregular bowel movements, malabsorption, gastritis, acid reflux, skin disorders, joint pain, seasonal and food allergies and decreased immunity (4, 5, 6).
How Do You Get Parasites?
Parasites can come into the body through exposure to contaminated food and water, day care centers, pets, mosquitoes and fleas and sexual transmission. Many individuals who are doing a lot of international flying will encounter regions of contaminated food and water. Pork and scavenger fish and shellfish happen to be especially rich in heat tolerant parasites. It is estimated that 85% of the world’s population is infested with parasites (7).
According to United Nations data: “Overall, about 1.5 billion people have roundworms, making it the third most common human infection in the world. Whipworm infects 1 billion people… More than 1.3 billion people carry hookworm in their gut, and 265 million people are infected with schistosomes (8).”
Two Main Classifications of Parasites:
There are two main classifications of intestinal parasites that can create significant problems. These include protozoa and helminthes. Protozoa are single celled organisms that have two stages: the trophozoite stage where they are metabolically active and invasive. They also have a stage where they are inactive called the cyst stage.
Helminths are large, multicellular worms that are typically big enough to see with the human eye in their adult stage. Nematodes (roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), and trematodes (flatworms and schistosomes) are among the most common helminths that inhabit the human gut. These are typically unable to reproduce in the human gut.
Types of Protozoa:
The most common intestinal protozoans are Giardia intestinalis, Entamoeba histolytica, Cyclospora Cayetanenensis, Cryptosporidium spp and Blastocystis hominis. The disorders these parasites cause are called giardiasis, amoebiasis, cyclosporiasis, cryptosporidiosis and blastocystitis respectively.
The major symptoms associated with these are diarrhea, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, dehydration, weakness, low energy and joint pain. If uncontrolled, these infestations can be fatal. You can test to see if you have high levels of these parasites or elevated yeast and/or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) with my preferred stool analysis here
Anti-Parasitic Nutrition Plan:
Parasites love sugar and everything that turns into sugar. So the best way to starve the parasites is through using healthy fasting and cleansing strategies while eliminating as much sugar and grains as possible from the diet.
Several herbs and foods act as very strong anti-parasitic agents. Extra virgin coconut oil is loaded with medium chain triglycerides that enhance the immune system in its battle against pathogens. Raw garlic and onions provide sulfur containing amino acids that are anti-parasitic (9). Eat six tablespoons of raw, extra virgin coconut oil, one whole clove of garlic and one large red onion daily to help parasite proof your body.
Unique Herbs and Fermented Beverages:
Dried oregano and especially essential oil of oregano are extremely volatile and anti-parasitic (10). Use two to three drops of oregano oil in water with fresh squeezed lemon and drink this three times a day. Clove works just as well so you could also substitute or use clove oil with oregano oil. Ginger, wormwood, black walnut are also commonly used in anti-parasitic strategies (11).
Fasting with vegetable or bone broth and loads of garlic and onions is a great anti-parasitic strategy. Fermented beverages such as coconut kefir and apple cider vinegar provide organic acids that have anti-parasitic properties (12). These are powerful tools to help destroy parasites. These contain key enzymes that help to create an environment that is non-conducive for parasitic development.
Cleansing and the Anti-Parasitic Lifestyle:
I like to use a three to 21 day low calorie, liquid diet that is rich in organic broth, fermented beverages, water and fresh squeezed lemon. Probiotic and anti-microbial herbal supplements are highly recommended to help destroy parasites and re-inoculate the gut.
After the cleansing period, it is especially important to utilize high quality fermented foods and fibrous prebiotic vegetables in order to reinnoculate the gut. This includes kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles and coconut milk yogurt.
These foods are rich sources of L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps rebuild the gut (13). These fermented foods also contain very powerful strains of good bacteria, organic acids and enzymes that act to keep parasites out of the body.
Intermittent Fasting and Super Hydration:
A regular life cycle that inhibits parasitic development includes doing regular intermittent fasting for periods of 16-24 hours every day. It is important to drink lots of clean water to push out feces and not allow it to become a breeding ground for parasitic organisms.
I recommend drinking a half gallon of water between waking and 12pm. Adding in anti-microbials such as oregano, clove or lemon oil, apple cider vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon is especially helpful. You can also do herbal tea blends such as Pau D’Arco and dandelion in order to kill off more parasites, support the liver, kidneys and colon and sweep the dead carcasses out of the system.
Anti-Parasitic Meal Plan:
Consuming meals between 12pm – 7pm each day with the first meal (lunchtime) being a high quality protein shake with lots of coconut fats, berries, high quality protein powder and an additional scoop of collagen protein to strengthen the gut lining.
During the afternoon snacking on some fermented foods like sauerkraut, coconut water kefir for hydration or having a bowl of coconut yogurt with berries is a great idea. Dinner should be healthy meat in the form of grass-fed animal products, steamed or sauteed veggies covered in melted grass-fed butter or ghee and herbs.
Adding in a side salad with olives or avocado is a fantastic idea. Be sure to get lots of good healthy fats (coconut products, grass-fed butter/ghee, olives/olive oil, avocado) in order to provide high quality fat-soluble nutrients and to stabilize blood sugar.
The nutrition plan should focus on fermented foods and drinks, good fat sources, anti-oxidants and clean proteins. Consuming anti-microbial herbs such as garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, turmeric, ginger and rosemary throughout the day is highly recommended.
Anti-Parasitic Supplement Protocol:
The supplemental protocols I use to help the body destroy the parasites, detoxify the endotoxic debris from their carcasses and rebuild the gut and mucosal membrane are the following:
1) Para Elim: This is a blend of powerful plant-based anti-parasitic herbs that have been clinically studied to eliminate some of the most challenging worms, ameoba’s and protozoa’s.
2) Activated Charcoal: The activated charcoal helps to bind and grab up these organisms and sweep them out of the body effectively.
3) Gut Repair: This is a blend of nutrients designed to heal and seal the gut membrane and replenish the mucosal membrane. This is especially important due to the damage the parasites inflict and how they scar up the intestinal membrane.
4) Gut Defense: This product is an immunoglobulin concentrate derived from colostral whey peptides. It delivers natural immunoglobulins, bioactive proteins and growth factors. These components support immune function, reduce inflammation and strengthen and repair the gut membrane. This is very important for preventing future parasitic and/or yeast or bacterial infections.
6) Probiocharge 100 Billion: This product contains bifidobacterium longum and lactis as well as lactobacillus acidophilus and plantarum which are researched to have a strong anti-parasitic effect. These microorganisms help to reinnoculate the gut and make an internal environment that is inhospitable to parasitic overgrowth.
7) Acid ProZyme: Hydrochloric acid is necessary for creating an acidic environment in the stomach to digest protein and ionize minerals. This also helps to stimulate bile release from the gallbladder to effectively metabolize fat in the small intestine. Without these key functions working optimally we become at risk for anemia, thyroid problems, osteoporosis and auto-immunity.
Low stomach acid in a very common problem especially in older individuals or those who have suffered from various infections like H Pylori or parasites and those who have been on anti-biotics and other medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Low stomach acid sets the stage for damage to the delicate lining of the digestive tract and the formation of leaky gut syndrome and parasitic overgrowth.
8) Super DZyme: Enzymes are extremely key for breaking down carbohydrates, protein and fatty acids and prepare them for proper digestion and assimilation in the body. Individuals with parasite overgrowth are often unable to produce sufficient quantities of digestive enzymes and are unable to effectively digest the food they are eating.
Improper digestion causes significantly more stress and inflammation in the gut lining that ultimately leads to the degradation of the mucosal membranes and the complications of leaky gut syndrome. When the mucosal membrane is damaged it is then unable to secrete the appropriate enzymes and we end up with a vicious cycle that causes more gut inflammation.