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Allergenic Fish Worms

The role of a parasitic worm in allergic reactions to chicken and fish.

November 24, 2010 |
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There’s a parasitic worm in fish called anisakis. This year we learned that about 2/3’s of retail fish samples came up positive for them. This is what they look like—they’re really quite small, actually. You can see two here kind of peeking out of some sushi. Because people eat fish raw, parasites are always a concern, but the unique thing about these worms is that our bodies can be so sensitive to them that the worms can trigger an allergic reaction dead or alive—even if they’re cooked. So we’re finding some people that are “allergic” to fish really aren’t; they’re allergic to the dead worms in the fish.
In fact, because we feed fishmeal to chickens, you can have an allergic reaction to a parasitic fish worm and not even eat fish at all!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on parasites. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

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  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on parasites. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brooke.daisy.1 Brooke Daisy

    barf this is so grose. reason number 150 why I do not eat animal bi products.