Dr. James Logan: Food Allergy Mad Scientist


Ancylostoma caninum, a type of hookworm, attac...

Ancylostoma caninum, a type of hookworm, attached to the intestinal mucosa. Source:CDC's Public Health Image Library Image #5205 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This cat is nuts, but the good kind of nuts.  I’ve blogged about these scary possibly-food-allergy-curtailing bugs before… but this guy has sprung into action by swallowing the damn things along with a tiny camera to see just exactly how they work.  Screw animal testing and clinical trials… this dude is D.I.Y. all the way.

Check out this article: Hookworms And Allergies – Doctor Infects Himself For Experiment

Here’s an excerpt:

In using his own body in the service of science, Logan joins self-experimenters like Sir Isaac Newton, who in the 17th century nearly went blind after staring too long at the sun in a mirror in order to study the after-images on his retinas.

Quite apart from the ethical implications of putting a person’s health at risk, such self-experimentation is much less common nowadays, with trials tending to be on a much larger scale in order to get enough statistical power for reliable results, but, as in Logan’s case, it occasionally happens, under carefully controlled conditions.

Logan was interested in the experiment because research suggests, a hookworm infection can cure or alleviate symptoms of allergies like bowel disease and food allergies. It is thought the worms release compounds that reduce the over-reactions in the immune system that cause the allergies.

He allowed himself to be infected because he himself suffers from a long-standing food allergy that means he cannot eat bread without feeling very ill.

He also wanted to demonstrate, using new state of the art imaging for the first time ever, how the worms get into the body.

CRAZY.

Then again, if an herbal supplement works, why not try that first?  Maybe this guy just likes creepy little bugs so much, he wanted to eat them.  I’d rather eat herbs than bugs, but to each his own.

Then again, you or I might already be infected with a hookworm & not even know it.  The article states “According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 576-740 million people in the world are infected with hookworm. The infection usually has no symptoms, although some people, especially those infected for the first time, have gastrointestinal symptoms.”  Ew!

There’s a video (& a transcript) about Dr. James Long here: Dr. James Logan’s Hookworm Experiment

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A video highlight, and the meat of the experiment…

Eosinophil blood cells are an important part of the body’s immune system which is the mechanism within us that fights infection. Eosinophils are associated with fighting parasites like hookworm. Normally they make about 1% of our blood. But people like Dr James who are infected with hookworms usually start producing more of these cells.

He’s going to need a lab coat an some hair like Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future if he’s going to gain any respect as a mad scientist.  But any way you look at it, this guy is pretty badass.

No, no, no, no, no, this sucker's electrical, but I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need.

No, no, no, no, no, this sucker's electrical, but I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need.

6 responses to “Dr. James Logan: Food Allergy Mad Scientist

  1. Glad there are some people who are that passionate about food allergies. My wife developed an allergy to rye in her earlie 30’s. It took us by surprize and was very scary. Lots of swelling, tight throat, itching, just terrible. She actually had an episode about a month ago eating food that we really didn’t expect to have rye in it, all the focus and warnings seem to be about nuts. We really need to read labels closely, even if it’s a food typically not associated with rye.

    Like

    • There’s actually a great community of food-allergic people on Twitter, if you use the #FoodAllergy hashtag.

      A lot of focus seems to be on nuts and or gluten intolerance, but there are more of us out there… with the Big 8 & more.

      If you need any help/support, please don’t hesitate to ask!

      Like

  2. Thanks, I will definatley check them out and forward them to my wife. I personally don’t have any food allegies, but I definatley have an intolerance to gluten. Too much and I get bloated and stiff joints. When I was a kid food allergies seemed very uncommon. I have a three year old daughter and it seems like half of her friends have some sort of food no-no. Are we just more aware, or is there something in the food (preservatives, etc.) that wasn’t there before?

    Like

    • I think that’s what doctors, scientists, and families are trying to find out. I’ve been allergic to shrimp for years, but I’m in there minority. There are a ton of kids these days with food allergies & intolerances.

      FAAN is a great resource too.

      Like

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