Tapeworms for Weight Loss
Let's take a look at this ad. It lets you know that you can Eat! Eat! Eat! and always stay thin! Fat - the enemy that is shortening your life - will be banished. How? With sanitized tape worms. They're easy to swallow! No ill effects! No diet - no baths - no exercise!
OK, sounds miraculous, right? (except the no baths part). So just how do tapeworms work?
Tapeworms are a parasite - a flatform, to be specific. Humans typically can get tapeworms by eating not-thoroughly-cooked meat. The tapeworm eggs were already in that meat and when the human eats the meat the tapeworms reside quite nicely in the human digestive system. There they can grow to be up to 55 feet long and live for an incredible 25 years.
If you have a tape worm in you, it can cause a variety of stomach / intestinal issues (as you might imagine).
What this ad is playing up, though, is the side effect of weight loss.
It's not that the tape worm is somehow magically causing the fat to melt away. Rather, the tape worm is absorbing all of the host's nutrients in order to fuel its own growth. It's being a parasite. And with that parasite absorbing all the calories and nutrients, now the human being has to burn off his or her fat stores in order to survive.
Sounds good, right?
Unfortunately, that tape worm isn't just absorbing calories. It's also absorbing all the nutrients. Those nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, and so on, are critical for the human body to function. With the tape worm stealing all of the nutrients, the body now starts to fall apart. It gets diseases like scurvy even if the human is eating what they consider to be ample Vitamin C. The tapeworm is gobbling all of it up.
Luckily, in modern times, we don't have to cut a person open to pull out the tapeworm. We can take a one-dose course of Praziquantel and get rid of the thing.
Think of the people who used to pay good money to get the tapeworm inside them in the first place!
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