Obesity May Be Caused By A Virus
Scientists say that obesity can be caught just like a common cold.
Researchers at The Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, La., state that an airborne germ may be the cause of many obese people. This highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36, may be infecting up to one in three people that are obese.
“When this virus goes to fat tissue it replicates, making more copies of itself and in the process increases the number of new fat cells, which may explain why the fat tissue expands and why people get fat when they are infected with this virus,” said Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar, leader of the study.
This adenovirus attacks tissue and in turn the fat cells multiply, which leads to a lot of weight gain. Dr. Dhurandhar said that this virus goes to the lungs and spreads throughout the body to various organs such as the liver, kidney and brain.
Dhurandhar also says that infected people could still be contagious for up to three months. “But people could be fat for reasons other than viral infections so it's really pointless to try to avoid fat people to avoid infection,” he said.
This research could lead to new developments in anti-obesity vaccines or medicine.