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Do parasites have any benefit to humans?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Parasites can offer some benefits to humans. For example, early infections with parasites decreases your risk of allergy or autoimmune disease, probably because the parasites keep your immune system occupied. If you live in an environment that is too sterile, your immune system gets bored and starts attacking harmless objects (like pollen or shrimp) or even your own body. Doctors think this may be one of the big reasons allergies and autoimmune diseases have become so much more common in the modern, more hygienic era.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.