Tapeworm Diet: History, Methods, and Dangers

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

weight-loss-tapewormsIt is undeniable that people will resort to extreme measures in a desperate attempt to shed those extra pounds, but ingesting tapeworms in order to lose weight is not only a radical fad diet method but also an extremely dangerous one.

Thankfully the use of tapeworms as a diet aid is illegal in the US and for good reason.

Tapeworm infestation can result in:

  • The formation of cysts in the liver, eyes, brain, and spinal cord with potentially lethal consequences.
  • Intestinal Blockages
  • Malnutrition

Tapeworm Diet Basics

Although it is not possible to attempt the tapeworm diet in most countries, it is being offered at some places in Mexico. When you arrive at the treatment location you are given beef tapeworm cysts that have been identified microscopically. This is vitally important because some cows may host pig tapeworms, which are very dangerous.

The tapeworm interferes with your digestion and absorption of nutrients, which means that you can consume more calories and still lose weight. However, the parasite also competes for vitamins and other important nutrients, which may result in a nutritional deficiency.

According to some scientists, tapeworm infestation can result in a loss of one to two pounds per week. Once the target weight loss is reached, a deworming agent is given, which kills the tapeworm so it can be expelled.

Costs and Expenses

It appears that the treatment is only available in Mexico at the time of this review and the approximate cost is $1500.

Pros of the Tapeworm Diet

  • Weight loss is very likely.
  • Some scientists believe that tapeworms can also help to alleviate allergies such as hay fever.

Cons

  • Extremely dangerous, can cause unpleasant side effects and in some cases can be lethal.
  • Does not appear to be adequate protection for consumers in regard to regulation and safety analysis.
  • Rebound weight gain is most likely once the tapeworm is expelled.
  • Tapeworms can cause a swollen stomach which is not physically attractive and goes against the desired result.
  • Not available in most countries.
  • Treatment is expensive and will also need to include travel expenses.

sanitized Tapeworms

History of Tapeworms for Weight Loss

In the early 1900s, a “nutrient absorption” product appeared. Call it an early version of Xenical…

“No diet, no baths, no exercise. FAT – the enemy that is shortening your life – BANISHED. How? With sanitized tapeworms – jar-packed”

No baths? What?

The product appears to be legitimate and was referenced in a 1999 diabetes journal (PDF)

Approaches to decreasing nutrient absorption date from the early 1900s, when diet treatment with “sanitized tapeworms” was widely advertised.

Weight Loss Tapeworms Today?

Unfortunately, this fad is still around and people are desperate to get their hands on these cute little parasites.

Here are a few comments made from people who are desperate to try this method. This shows just how obsessed people are to lose weight and will try anything… even to the extent of putting a deadly parasite inside their bodies.

Here’s a Few

From Nikita:

First I want to say I tried everything under the sun to lose weight, from the gym to eating less, to not eating after 8, to cutting cals, to having a trainer who yelled at me in the gym, I really want to try this. SOMEONE, please help me!
Thank you!

How about Josh:

I hate all those sanctimonious scumbags, who think that all you need is a ‘little exercise’ and we will lose weight. I’ve tried for years to lose 3 stone and it just won’t come off. Do you people think we WANT to put parasites in our bodies for pleasure??? It’s a last resort to lose weight and to become healthy. To be able to lose enough weight so we can go out and maybe feel good about ourselves, so keep your disgusted opinions to yourself and put yourself in a fat person’s shoes. I WANT TO KNOW WHERE TO BUY TAPEWORM EGGS SO I CAN LOSE WEIGHT.

And then there’s Amber who will order them from Mexico if she has to:

ANYONE have any idea on where to get these tapeworm pills. I’ve found a couple different sites that offered them but they have not replied to my emails.. “extractotape” and “weight-b-gone” and “w8bgone” are what I have come up with so far and I am still searching. “Megaslim” seems like a scam. Also, you could try googling “tapeworm pills order online weight loss” or something like that in Spanish because it is legal and offered in Mexico. I’d love to get some of these and I’m willing to pay good money. It’s just a super challenge trying to find them.

Dangers With This Approach

It goes without saying that the Tapeworm Diet is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects including death. In addition to this, dieters will probably regain all the weight that is lost if they continue with the same eating habits after the tapeworm is expelled.

Dieters are advised to stick with proven weight loss methods such as consuming fewer calories and increasing physical activity, rather than risking their lives with a technique that is harmful and unlikely to yield positive long-term results by trying the tapeworm diet.

Tapeworms are flatworm parasites that have adapted to surviving in animals by feeding on the digested food of their hosts.

This means they can grow and grow until dangerous blockages occur.

They also produce larvae that burrow through the intestines and travel the blood stream until they eventually embed themselves into muscles where they form cysts. These cysts cause pain and even death if the larvae embed in the heart muscle.

This is absolutely one of the worst ways to try to lose weight and it shouldn’t be attempted.

110 Comments

  1. Unicorns 7 mins ago

    This is a terrible diet who wants tapeworms in theme did u not read MAY CAUSE DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not try this

    Reply
  2. mr hanky 4 hours ago

    stupid. you don’t want tape worms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you are desparate. please don’t. its

    Reply
  3. Tami wilson

    I am a single parent with two children and I want everyone to know that once you have a tapeworm you never get rid of it . I have spent the last 4 1/2 years trying to prove to many doctors but I’m affected as well as my family that I have many tapeworms . They get into your body all over including your environment in your house backyard in your bed you can see them . It all started out with one little white speck then it was 10 of them suddenly they’re all over my house . I have a video that shows that the spec I need that little speck is a pile of worms each one of those worms has its own set of eggs . My body is dying if I don’t get help soon I’m a goner. Please believe me when I tell you don’t do this it is so gross they’re not cute they look like little aliens is so scary .They are so bad in my eyes I can barely see . I did go to the eye doctor and she couldn’t tell what it was. You would think she would look into it. My point is is that once your infected there is no going back. Sure if I do get diagnosed and get the medicine the likelihood of getting reinfected is like 99.9% . I have to research my way around on how to get the things out of my environment . this is not an easy task so please think about what you’re doing before you do it I’m so desperate to get these things out of my body and most time you don’t lose weight gain weight .when I first got infected I became overweight.now after four years I’m beginning to become skinnier .it’s not a healthy skinny . I feel tired I feel weak I can barely stand up. I can’t stand up straight people make fun of me because I lean to the right being that I’m in so much pain . Now I have shrunk 3 inches. Please live a heathy life without parasites. I wish I could.

    Reply
  4. Erika

    Btw, you should have a disclaimer. Or your going to need a lawyer.

    Reply
  5. Erika

    So what’s the best way? Because I am one of those desperate nimrods that’s willing to try this on.

    Reply
  6. Anna

    Please let me know if anyone finds a reputable source for the sterilized digestive only (which I believe are the beef) tape worms!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Brittni

    The problem with eating raw meat to ingest a tapeworm is that there is only one that stays in your digestive tract. Raw fish and pork can carry tapeworms that start in your intestines but then spread through your blood stream and get into organs, muscles even your brain and eyes. Beef tapeworms stay in the digestive system but there is a chance that the cow was infected with a pork tapeworm. Which is why they’re checked under a microscope in Mexico before being given to people. So DIY is a gamble.

    Reply
  8. Laura

    if ANYONE has any idea on where to get these tapeworm pills. I’ve found a couple different sites that offered them but have not replied to my emails.. “extractotape” and “weight-b-gone” and “w8bgone” are what I have come up with so far and I am still searching “Megaslim” seems like a scam. Also you could try googling “tapeworm pills order online weight loss” or something like that in Spanish because it is legal and offered in Mexico. I’d love to get some of these and willing to pay good money it’s just a super challenge trying to find them

    Reply
    • Carmel

      I’ve been searching and searching. I can’t seem to find anywhereee selling! If you find anything please pleasee email me!

      Reply
    • tels

      Did u find them

      Reply
  9. sarah

    Im sure the F.D.A. frowns on tape worms…..but only because their little pills are more easily marketed. The F.D.A’s standard about selling things that are safe, are much, much lower than you might think. Taking a tapeworm, then taking a pill to kill it before it grows to much, is much safer than most of the pills that the F.D.A allows through their doors on a yearly basis. True,….its unsightly, however there is no need to have a tapeworm get so big that it crawls out your anus. With a little planning you could take them, use them for a short time, and dispose of them before you have any unsightly effects. If used carefully it wouldnt be to ugly…..and my medical advice is that it would definately be safer than many of the F.D.A’s previous recomendations. I don’t have a weight problem, but if I did, I would consider this method over a very invasive surgery.

    Reply
  10. Rickey Lefort

    mail me P.O. Box 1085, Galliano,Louisiana 70354

    Reply
    • Kate

      Do you have those pills?

      Reply
  11. Rickey Lefort

    Your teacher was messing with the class. That description sounds like something from a horror show. It is verry simple you take a pill to get the worm and you take a pill to remove it.

    Reply
    • Mali

      Hi Richard, do you sell these tapeworm pills or know where I could buy them? I’d be very pleased about a positive answer! greetings
      !

      Reply
  12. cody

    well anyone that comes up with a weight loss method like this thats safe and WITHOUT the damn worms will be a very rich person indeed. although even with the worms i bet the number of people that would buy this would be crazy

    Reply
  13. genny holland

    Hello hun, where did you get the worms from? Was it by accident or were you trying to get them? If you were trying and did aquire them just by eating or drinking, would youu mine telling me. I do not want to eat raw meat, sorry. If you answer me I would love to thank you at this time. Genny

    Reply
  14. katlyn

    did you ever find a site that sells tapeworms?? i want to try it.

    Reply
  15. uratan

    Hello, from Japan.
    I have one more question.

    near lower-right corner, written
    “SEND NO MONEY”
    “PARTICULARS MAILED”
    “FREE”

    How they earn with this commerce ?

    Reply
  16. Martin

    Not enough real scientific work or results are known about this rather seemingly strange method of dieting. Im sure there must be some form of careful monitering programme if not now at some point in the future. I like the idea of using tapeworm but have just recently watch a program where one has killed its host.

    Reply

References

  • Hoberg, E. P., Alkire, N. L., Queiroz, A. D., & Jones, A. (2001). Out of Africa: origins of the Taenia tapeworms in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 268(1469), 781-787. link
  • Schultz, M. G., Hermos, J. A., & Steele, J. H. (1970). Epidemiology of beef tapeworm infection in the United States. Public health reports, 85(2), 169. link
  • Schantz, P. M., & McAuley, J. (1991). Current status of food-borne parasitic zoonoses in the United States. The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health, 22, 65-71. link
  • Flickr | See also on Museum of Quackery