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Real concern or scam?

mark e siddall msiddall at umich.edu
Tue Oct 29 23:08:11 EST 1996

On Tue, 29 Oct 1996, Jim Lellman wrote:

> I have been speaking to a doctor, who cites certain studies that indicate
> that a significant portion of the population of North American is
> infested with one or more variety of parasites.  I have listened to

The question of import here is "So what?".  That is, for example, an
enormous portion of the population has Toxoplasma gondii bradyziotes in
their brain.  This is not a problem unless one becomes immunocompromized.
Also, which "parasites".  Lots of us get infected with pin-worm every
year, as well as a variety of critters but there are no problems and no
symptoms (save maybe a day of gas, or the trots that you'd likely chalk up
to that spicy dinner).

> a tape quoting various doctors that say this is so.  The problem I
> have is that the doctors involved have an interest in selling a
> herbal remedy that allegedly cleans out parasites from a person's
> system.  Has anybody heard of such a thing?  For all I know, it's
> all on the level and their stuff works wonders.  On the other hand,

I would pose the question: Why bother treating something that is not
causing any problems?  Also, is this "remedy" sactioned by the FDA?  If
not, what other sorts of problems might you open yourself up to?  After
all, in parts of the world, treating sore-throats with herbal remedies
that happen to have a lot of plant-source phorbol-esters can turn a
routine EBV (mono) infection into a request for cancer.

Rule-of-thumb: don't buy snake oil from a pusher.  If you're going to
consider buying it, consult someone with no financial interest.

> it never hurts to ask...

You betcha.

Mark E. Siddall, Michigan Society Fellow, Ass't Prof.
Museum of Zoology (94 Museums)
University of Michigan        ______ msiddall at umich.edu
Ann Arbor, MI  48109        _/  ____ mes at vims.edu
Ph: 313 936 2286         __/ \_/  \_ msiddall at museum.unl.edu
Fx: 313 763 4080           \   \____ msiddall at bbsr.edu
msiddall at umich.edu          \_______ mes at zoo.toronto.edu

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