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.

122 Comments

  1. Ashly

    PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHERE TO GET TAPEWORM PILLS OR WHERE TO GO>

    Reply
  2. Rebekkah

    Alright… so, you get a tapeworm. You keep eating tons of food but gain no weight due to the worm.
    Then the worm gets out of control… and you take the pills and it’s gone.
    Being accustomed to eating whatever you want, you keep doing the same.
    Wouldn’t you just gain the weight back?

    No, Thank you. I’ll just change my lifestyle and eating habits and not have to undergo a constant cycle of infestation.

    Reply
  3. shae

    I want one so bad I went to the grocery store and looked at all the raw beef to see if I could find a tapeworm larvae.

    I looked online before I went to see what they looked like. It’s definitely impossible to get it in the states on purpose. All our meat is clean and inspected. You would need to get it out of a diseased animals feces or something.

    I’m not giving up though!

    Reply
    • tels

      Lemme know if u find one

      Reply
  4. Linda

    Where did you get it?

    Reply
  5. Jeff B

    You are either a liar, or someone fooled you rather well. A tapeworm cannot survive in the acid of the stomach. They actually live in the intestinal tract, and do not venture up the alimentary canal. That means, they do not crawl up into your stomach or further into your mouth to get a sip of milk.

    Reply
  6. waldo

    As a matter of fact you do, you choose to be content

    Reply
  7. dirtyweasel

    there are some worms that end up in your brain and you can get them along with tapeworms. i’ll pass.

    Reply
  8. gwhitcomb

    I have tried many different diets, some safe and sane and some were just fads. This can’t be anymore unsafe than 90% diets out there today. If I knew how to get fish tapeworm pills I would surely try it. The availability of this in other countries is tempting me to make the trip. Would I buy this product…absolutely. After age 50 diet and exercise work less and less with more and more effort. I don’t enjoy diets or exercise to make it my primary goal in life. I want simple and effective with a reasonable risk. It’s certainly safer than bariatric surgery!

    Reply
  9. Marion

    Where did you get it from?

    Reply
  10. AJMGAL

    This actually does work. a friend of mine uses it and she eats like 2,500 calories a day and shes HELLA skinny

    Reply
    • tels

      Where does she get it. I see all of these comments on hetr asking where and u come here to validate with no real info

      Reply
  11. missy

    well i got it and i lost over 45 pounds in 2moths so i feel great got a pill to get ried of it and i’m great

    Reply
    • Mali

      Hey missy, could you pleeeaaassee tell me where you bought this pill??? Thanks a lot!!

      Reply
    • susan

      where did u get it or are u just bs ing?

      Reply
    • Elaine

      Did you see a doctor after 8 weeks to get dewormed? What did you take to get rid of it?

      Reply
    • Jamie

      Can you send me info on where to get it? Thank you

      Reply
    • Randall

      please tell me where to get it????

      Reply
    • tels

      Tell us where got it or are u lying

      Reply
  12. Mr Big

    No you haven’t. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Reply
  13. Tessa

    I would totally buy that!! Omg, I want a tapeworm.

    Reply
  14. jake

    i had tape worms every summer as a kid with no ill health. graduated high school at 155 lbs now weigh 198 and would love to get some tape worms to loose weight.

    Reply
  15. dontdoit

    its a real nice idea coz the adult worms are pretty much harmless however the eggs are not, freshly hatched larve can leave the intestine and make cysts on your lungs and liver ect.
    which can be fatal… shame

    Reply
  16. SirLaffalot

    Sure fire way to get rid of a tapeworm:

    Every day for five days stick peeled, hard-boiled egg up your butt along with a cookie. On the sixth day only stick the egg in your bunghole. When the tapeworm sticks his head out looking for the cookie, grab him and pull him out!

    Reply
  17. kathleen rogers

    do you know where i can get a live tapeworm and/or tapeworm eggs?

    any help would be greatly apprecieated.appreciated.
    redballoonkr@gmail.com

    thanks.
    kathleen

    Reply
  18. Ryan

    I WOULD BUY THIS PRODUCT TODAY! SURE BEATS CRYSTAL METH!

    Reply
  19. Pilicious

    I think this is an awesome business opportunity. If you could find a way to genetically alter these tape worms, I.E. limit the size they can grow to, make them sterile (inability to reproduce), and possibly how long their life span was. Then offer a de-worming treatment all in one package you could become filthy rich!

    I think that $1200 bucks is a bit pricey to purposefully give someone worms though. Make it a $20….err wait, $19.99 and you could CRUSH the weight loss industry (not that the FDA would EVER let that happen). And you would get crazy amounts of satisfied customers returning once they killed the worm and started getting fat again!

    People say this is gross and unhealthy. Honestly, is any of that crap they sell on TV REALLY healthy for you? Not that the fatties give two shits about being healthy anyways right?

    Reply
  20. Jess

    Some people can not do aerobic exercise or cardio due to osteoarthritis or other ailments. Having said that, if you already are unfortunate enough to have an extremely slow metabolism, and can not physically exercise, are you just suppose to starve and never eat to stay thin? I don’t think so!

    Reply
  21. emmie

    Stop eatting at Mcdonald’s and eat healthy, eat small ammounts instead of stretching your stomach out, and exercise~arobics and working out! I rather live healthy than try to avoid the real reason I gain weight. WHO would be stupid enough to eat worms and think it’s the answer to losing weight???

    Reply
  22. Token Fat Friend

    Hi Love Chubb…I googled “tape worm weight loss” the other day, and you can get them on purpose in Mexico for a mere $1200. Pretty gross, but something involving swallowing a cyst that is taken from beef cattle. You can’t legally get them on purpose in the US. I would rather just eat a lot of sushi and rare meat and try to get them on “accident”. Try the same Google I did, I’m sure it will pop up. Also says something like “all-natural weight loss” on the site. Gives explicit info on how they curate them and everything. Pretty gross, but whatever works…

    Reply
  23. Token Fat Friend

    One of my “chunky” friends started losing a lot of weight really quickly, and she hadn’t changed anything she was doing. After about 4 months, and losing somewhere around 30 pounds and already looking GREAT, she was STILL losing. She got worried it could be something serious (cancer, thyroid, etc.), so she went to the doc and found out she had worms. (A relief when you think about what the alternative could be.) I wish I had eaten at the same place she did where she got them from. They are gone now, and she looks absolutely amazing, and has maintained her weight for over 6 months. (Still grossed out a little about the worms, but they got the job done.)

    Reply
  24. Love Chub

    So…. Did anyone actually find out where to get one??? and if so… WHERE!!!???

    Reply
  25. cmac

    (echoing previous comments…)

    More than the fact that there are ppl who would purchase this, there’s actually probably nothing wrong with the idea of using tapeworms to steal a portion of your caloric intake, and certainly less costly and with fewer risks, complications, and lifelong consequences than modern bariatric surgery. Just host the tapeworm long enough to lose some fat (you probably won’t actually lose much weight, as the tape worm is growing inside of you), then just kill the tapeworm. Use appropriate dietary supplementation to avoid the specific micronutrient deficits that might be caused by the worm. Believe me, this is a lot safer than surgery.

    Reply
  26. Jess

    Also, do the worms eat your food or your fat? Or both? I’m interested to know exactly how it works… i’m going to research it now..

    Reply
  27. Jess

    Tape worms are sometimes used as an alternative medicine for people with Crohn’s Disease or other bowel diseases. This is because it is believed that the immune system will start fighting the worm instead of the person’s digestive system and will reduce inflammation.
    My friend suffers from Crohn’s and he has considered taking it.
    Personally, I would be interested in trying it, so long as I could get it removed if anything went wrong. I’ve always been interested in trying out alternative medicine.

    Reply
    • Sara

      “Alternative” usually means that someone is taking your money and you get nothing (other that a horrible infestation) in return. Many people posting seem to distrust modern medicine, but there are stringent guidelines medical professionals have to abide by in the US. “Alternative Professionals” have no such restrictions, so they can give you all sorts of worthless and actively harmful products. Please, don’t be taken in by the idea that “natural” means better than proper medication. Cyanide, arsenic, tapeworms are all natural, but you really don’t want to ingest them. American doctors really do care about your health and well-being. People selling tapeworms aren’t.

      Reply
  28. Gemma

    Well, my view of it is that Allah gave you a situation, and tests you on it. He blesses you, and he can also curse you. If you are poor, then you are more eco friendly, and you know allot about the environment and how to keep safe. You are kind hearted. If you are rich, you are more inclined to get greedy for more items or money, simple as that 🙂 (im not saying that all rich people are mean!!) no way do you choose to live like that, but there are sometimes opertunities to choose a lifestyle(not always). I prefer being middle class over being rich.

    I think tapworms are gross, but as an alternate medicine, id give anything eco a go!! herbal medicines.. ect. im fed up with market& media producing things and expecting us to pay so much for it!!!! If only their mone-making scemes did us some good. hence the word “money making sceme” pfft. its so impossible!!! but beauty treatments are good! mud bath, steam bath, plastic wrap.. w/e, we all should stick to enviromentaly friendly options, otherwise we will end up with no air left to breath.. even end up with POISON air and water!! so sad! 🙁 i just dont understand why everyone is “just starting to change” its like they are saying:”ok scru the world, lets wait till ur all buried in poision before we make a real effort to change”.. maybe they didnt have enough campaignes??.

    Reply
  29. lilli

    Hi where can i buy these miracle tape worm pills, and do they really work???

    Reply
    • Luke

      I can get you all beef tape worms if you can come to,colorado. It would all be completely anonymous and,an at your own risk process but I can deliver

      Reply
      • Solomon

        Hello please send me a message back I’m vary interested

        Reply
      • Martha

        Hello you still Porat menu worms with a tapeworm? If yes I should be very interested, please write me an e-mail thank you

        Reply
  30. sammy

    ;0

    Reply
  31. sammy

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    Reply
  32. jenna

    so would you just swallow the apeworm whole?would it be big enough to see?gross

    Reply
    • Elaine

      It’s in pill form and a tiny egg

      Reply
  33. A Jackson

    I would just like to say, that our world has become way to sanitized lol.

    I think we probably DO have worms, at least some and it’s a little naive to think we don’t lol.

    That being said, where do you get one lol.

    I personally am ok with being a little fat, doesn’t bother me.

    Reply
  34. kandice

    i am on this site looking to see if i can buy tapeworm…yeah it sounds nasty, but heck yes, lose weight AND eat all the crap i want!!!! ok!!!!!!!!! sign me up!!

    Reply
  35. nancy

    nancy said:
    where do you buy the tape wormpills …i will do it[…]

    Reply
  36. nancy

    where do you buy the tape worm pills …i will do it

    Reply
  37. Tray

    If I set aside my initial repulsion I’m pretty sure I would prefer a medically supervised course of treatment that included a tapeworm to a lap band and more so a gastric bypass. Presumably, it would be less painful and less dangerous. (Anybody else watch Big Medicine?) I’m wondering if there’s information about a tapeworm’s effects on diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

    Reply
  38. Libby Juice

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/5252370.stm

    Libby Juice said:
    Scientists are looking at parasites to treat allergic conditions such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.[…]

    Reply
  39. Libby Juice

    Scientists are looking at parasites to treat allergic conditions such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.

    It is one of a range of issues to be examined by 2,000 delegates from 88 countries at the six-day conference on parasitology and tropical disease.

    Reply
  40. Chloe

    Amy said:
    Women used to douche with LYSOL in the 1920’s too!
    The FDA and Surgion General couldn’t let these products back on the market. To find out more about Lysol search Lysol for feminine hygiene, there are a ton of sites on it…… really weird![…]

    woah.

    ouch.

    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