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Home > Quick Shop > Herbal Products > Para90 > Para90 Info

Para90: Product Information

A digestive concern we should all be aware of is the increasing prevalence of parasites. We need to understand the effect parasites may have on the digestive system and what we can do to maintain a parasite-free system.

Parasite frequency

Although North Americans often consider parasites something to only worry about when traveling, this is not true. In 1976, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention carried out a nationwide survey that showed that one in every six people selected at random had one or more parasites. It is quite possible that we are hosting a dinner party for many types of parasites.

An Internet homepage, Parasites of Vertebrates, by the Department of Nematology, University of California at Davis, states that 900 million people worldwide and some 4 to 15 percent of the population in the southeastern United States are infected with hookworm. Some one billion people (one-sixth of the world’s population) are infected with roundworm, and 500 million people worldwide are infected with pinworm. In the United States, estimates of those infected with pinworm range from 10 to 35 percent of the population. Globally, the picture is alarming.

Climate and sanitary conditions breed parasites worldwide especially in developing countries where clean water sources and sanitation services are scarce or nonexistent. Parasites enter your body in one of four ways: through food and water intake; through a transmitting agent, such as a mosquito; through sexual contact; and through the nose and skin. They are also carried by household pets and livestock, and spread through daycare centers and international travel.

What are parasites?

Parasites are organisms that grow, feed, and are sheltered on or in other living organisms, known as "hosts," without contributing anything to the survival of the host. According to Murray (1998), there are two broad groups of parasites, protozoa (one-celled organisms) and helminths (worms). Parasites can be transmitted from animal to animal, animal to man, and in some cases, man to animal (FSIS 2001). Some parasites are larger than bacteria and viruses but they are usually so small that you cannot see them without a microscope. Others, such as worms, can grow quite large and can be seen with the eye.

Several parasites have emerged as significant causal factors in foodborne and waterborne diseases, including Giardia duodenalis, Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium parvum, Trichinella spiralis, Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm), and Taenia solium (pork tapeworm).

Parasites live within the organs and tissues of the body and are often harmful. Any number of them can infect your gastrointestinal tract. Eventually, they are excreted in the feces; however, they are one of the major causes of diarrhea and as such may be seen as the greatest single cause worldwide of illness and death (Murray 1998).

How do I know if I have parasites?

According to Skye Weintraub, a naturopathic physician and author of The Parasite Menace (1999), a parasitic infection could be manifested by any number of signs. These include constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint and muscle aches and pains, anemia, allergies, skin conditions, nervousness, sleep disturbances, teeth grinding, and chronic fatigue.

Many health practitioners believe that parasites may also be responsible for a number of other health problems. Weintraub says, "Many parasites go undetected because they are not producing serious symptoms. It is easy to attribute feeling ill to other causes because parasitic infections look like lots of other conditions. I have seen other health problems disappear once the body has become parasite-free."

How can parasites hurt you?

Parasites can damage the host’s body in a number of ways. They can:
  • cause nutrient malabsorption by eating the nutrients we ingest.
  • produce toxic substances.
  • depress immune system function while activating immune system response.
  • destroy cells faster than cells can be regenerated.
  • irritate body tissue.
  • invade body tissue, including the skin and intestinal lining.
  • put pressure on body organs.
  • cause tissue and organ deterioration.

Treatment

If you suspect you have parasites, a health practitioner can arrange a number of tests. These include stool tests, blood tests, tissue swabs, and others. However, these tests are often inconclusive as parasites can reside in tissues and organs and in the blood and will not be found in fecal samples. Often, only parasite eggs will be passed in the stool.

Treatment options include:
  • Conventional medications. Drugs are unique to the parasite and can have side effects. With severe and prolonged diarrhea, replacement fluids may also be necessary.
  • Herbs. Many herbs, including those in AIM Para 90®, have helpful properties. For example, garlic is useful against amoeba and hookworm, and pumpkin seed is useful against tapeworm. Sweet Annie, black walnut, and the male fern root were used in traditional medicine as far back as the early 1800s.
  • Natural therapies. The digestive enzymes in AIM PrepZymes will help ensure that foods are more completely digested, helping to eliminate potential problems due to toxins. The fiber and herbs in AIM Herbal Fiberblend will help cleanse the colon. Probiotics, such as in AIM FloraFood, will recolonize the helpful bacteria in the intestines and create a hostile environment for parasites. Colonics also help cleanse the colon.
  • Dietary changes. Avoid eating uncooked foods or foods from doubtful sources. Even undercooked meat, fish, and poultry can present problems. When camping, do not drink stream water.
  • Pet care. Ensure regular deworming and maintain good hygiene when handling your pet.

Prevention

The magnitude of parasites makes prevention of them essential. There are a number of things you can do to avoid picking up parasites:
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling food and after going to the bathroom, handling pets, and changing diapers.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them and cook meat thoroughly.
  • Do not walk barefoot, especially on warm moist soils.
  • Keep your fingernails short and clean.
  • Institute the dietary changes recommended above.
  • Have regular parasite checkups, especially if you travel frequently.
  • Maintain a regular AIM Para 90® regime.
  • Use AIM PrepZymes®, AIM Herbal Fiberblend®, and AIM FloraFood® regularly to ensure digestive health.

References

  • U.S. Food and Safety Inspection Service. Parasites and Foodborne Diseases. White Paper. Department of Agriculture. Washington, D.C. May 2001.
  • Murray, M.T. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. 2nd ed. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1996.
  • ucdnema.ucdavis.edu/imagemap/nemmap/ent156html/ vertcom (Parasites of Vertebrates, Department of Nematology, University of California at Davis)
  • Weintraub, Skye, N.D. The Parasite Menace. Pleasant Grove, UT: Woodland Publishing, Inc., 1999.

Suggested Reading

    Parasites
  • Bueno, Hermann. Uninvited Guests. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1996.
  • Gittleman, Ann Louise. Guess What Came to Dinner? Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing Group, Inc., 1993.
  • vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/intro.html (FDA: The Bad Bug Book)
  • www.mic.ki.se/Diseases/c3.html (Karolinska Institute: Parasitic Diseases)

    Herbs
  • Castleman, Michael. The Healing Herbs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1991.
  • Grieve, M., and C.F. Leyel, ed. A Modern Herbal. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble, 1931, 1973, 1996.
  • Santillo, Humbart, N.D. Natural Healing with Herbs. 10th ed. Prescott, AZ: The Hohm Press, 1993.

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