People “deworm” themselves using digestive supplements, but experts say they only kill good bacteria
TikTokers uses digestive supplements to deworm their gut.
Some users report finding dead worms in their poop after using ParaGuard to flush their system.
Experts say there’s no hard evidence ParaGuard can deworm you, and its use could ruin your gut microbiome.
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TikTok users use herbal supplements, like ParaGuard, to deworm themselves.
ParaGuard is an herbal supplement that contains wormwood, pumpkin seeds, and garlic bulb and is intended to aid digestion, according to the Zahler product website.
Some people, who say they have used the supplement to deworm their intestines, say they have found worm carcasses in their poo and feel less groggy after taking it.
TikTok user @ pengken007 told her followers that she has never had any intestinal worms. After taking ParaGuard for seven days, she said she realized it wasn’t.
“So I have worms. And you know what that means? You have worms; everyone has worms. We have to deworm, everyone, get something,” she said in a TikTok video.
But some experts say DIY deworming with ParaGuard is harmful to your gut and can ruin your microbiome, which can lead to diarrhea, food intolerance, and autoimmune disease.
Taking supplements without your doctor’s advice can harm your gut
Taking ParaGuard and other deworming supplements is not only ineffective, experts say it can be dangerous.
While the idea of worms living in our gut can be horrifying, gastroenterologist Dr Sabine Hazan told BuzzFeed that some of the parasites you eliminate are essential to your gut health.
“It’s part of our microbiome. Your stool is believed to be made up of bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc. Hazan said.
“They can kill the good germs in their gut, which is detrimental because once they’re destroyed you can’t get them back.”
Even if you think you have worms that need to be eliminated, Hazan said it’s important to consult a healthcare practitioner before ordering any supplements or medications online.
Most people don’t need to be dewormed
Most adults do not need to deworm themselves. Despite what social media is saying, it’s rare to find tapeworms and roundworms after a cleanse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The average person is unlikely to walk around with active parasites in their gut,” said gastroenterologist Dr. Peter Mannon at Nebraska Medicine.
“I would question the usefulness of these parasite cleanups.”
Pediatric emergency doctor Dr Meghan Martin has told his subscribers that the most common worms people in the United States need to be concerned about are pinworms, which are common in young children, not adults.
“If you drink cool water and eat well-cooked meats, you don’t need to be dewormed,” Martin said on TikTok.
If you have the worms you need to be concerned about, some symptoms include rectal itching, bleeding, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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