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Adenovirus and Obesity

Adenovirus and Obesity

Too much food; not enough exercise. That simplistic, conventional wisdom about obesity just isn't holding up under the onslaught of scientific inquiry now being aimed at the global obesity crisis.

I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, giving you the Skinny on Your Health.

It's not news that there are complicated medical issues that lead to obesity, irrespective of diet and exercise. Many people know this about thyroid problems. Now, people are learning about metabolic disorders that affect vastly more people than thyroid trouble does.

Researchers have learned that Ad-36, a strain of human adenovirus, seems to cause human cells to differentiate into fat cells. There are at least five viruses that have been identified as capable of causing obesity this way in animals.

And when the researchers screened actual living people, they found that antibodies to AD-36 (a strain of human adenovirus) were present in 30 percent of obese subjects and only 11 percent of normal weight folks.

What does it all mean? No conclusions yet, and the research continues. All it proves so far is that very little about obesity is as simple as we once thought.

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