It seems that old fashioned methods of losing weight are making a comeback, with news from Shanghai that local sellers in Taobao are selling parasitic tapeworms to help women lose weight.
Now you not going to be swallowing a wriggling worm, although the reality is not much nicer to stomach as the worms are instead packaged in a capsule.
Why would you use a Tapeworm for weight loss?
Theoretically introducing a tapeworm into your stomach will mean that it will be feeding off the food you eat yourself.
Usually to lose weight you would have to either reduce your calorie intake or increase your activity levels. With the help of these tapeworms however there is no need to reduce your calorie intake as the worms are essentially doing this job for you.
Is this a new concept?
Despite this recent increase in popularity the idea of using a tapeworm for weight loss is not a new concept, in fact it has been around for over one hundred years.
Back in the early 1900s dieters would swallow tapeworm cysts with the intention of leaving the tapeworm to mature within their intestines and stomach.
Once the dieter had lost weight and achieved their goal they would then have to take an anti-parasitic pill that would kill the tapeworm, which would then have to be excreted (often painfully).
Is the Tapeworm Diet safe?
This method of weight loss is definitely not a safe option, as not only can the tapeworm potentially grow up to 30 feet in length, they can also cause diarrhoea and vomiting.
As these worms often move freely around the body they can end up in places that can cause severe side effects and even death.
Is the Tapeworm Diet recommended?
Although there is proof to suggest the using a tapeworm can help to encourage weight loss it is definitely not a recommended option and should be avoided at all costs.
Any diet that may potentially cause severe side effects and even death should be avoided.
Tapeworms are not safe and are actually illegal in some parts of the world.
If you need or want to lose weight then the safest and most effective method is still diet and exercise.
Eat a healthy balanced diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables and lean protein. Get regular exercise a few times a week and make sure you drink plenty of water.
You would be surprised how this simple plan really works, if you stick to it.