Avoiding pork tapeworm parasites (cysticercosis) is not as easy as just avoiding pork.
. Another review last year confirmed that pork tapeworms taking residence inside our brains “is a significant public health issue within the United States.” At first though clinical diagnosis can be challenging. Initial presentations of the disease are often vague complaints like headaches, weakness, dizziness, high blood pressure
In terms of treatment, in a series of more than a hundred cases published this year, although antiparasitic deworming drugs were found effective, about 10% require brain surgery, what’s called open craniotomy where you have to go in and basically just dig ‘em out.
They can get in your muscles too. This is a x-ray of someones leg and you can see how infested it is, and that’s why we can get it from pork, because it gets in the muscles.
But what if you don’t eat pork muscles? Well, I say this to all the smug nonpork eaters out there: if we can find pork tapeworms in the brains of orthodox jews in Brooklyn, we can find pork tape worms in anyone.
They weren’t sneaking off for schnitzel. It was their pork-eating domestic houseworkers preparing their food. When they tested 1700 members of the local synogoge 1% tested positive. The researchers suggested that those “to be employed as domestic workers or food handlers should be screened for tapeworm infection via examination of three stool samples for tapeworm eggs.
So for those of us that want to avoid the number 1 cause of adult-onset epilepsy, we may want to not eat pork, and not eat anything made by anyone who eats pork.
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 Dianne Moore.
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Check out the prequel to today's NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day, Pork tapeworms on the brain, and please leave a comment if you have any questions for me about this important public health issue.
For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Contagion: bad timing for CDC report of new swine flu strain.