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Hey Lady, I Think You’re Infected with the Fat Bug!

Posted Jan 27 2009 3:55pm

Scientist find new cold-like virus that causes fat cells to multiply, leading to obesity.
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According to scientists, the common cold (though your symptoms may tell you differently) may not even be a cold.

The U.S., along with other countries, is plagued by an obesity issue that can be attributed to a nasty little virus which mimics the common cold.

As many as one-in-three obese people can direct much of the blame for being overweight to the highly infectious cold-like virus AD-36.

It is known to cause coughs, sore throats, diarrhea and conjunctivitis. However, now, it has also been found to make fat cells multiply, leading to unexpected weight gain.

This shocking revelation adds to evidence that Britain’s own obesity epidemic is not simply the result of the populous maintaining unhealthy diets or its inability to exercise.

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From the U.K.: Daily Express UK News

OBESITY can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands, scientists claimed today.

Researchers believe that an airborne “adenovirus” germ could be causing the fat plague that is blighting Britain and other countries. Studies on humans show that 33 per cent of obese adults had contracted AD-36 at some point in their lives, compared with only 11 per cent of lean men and women.

Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar, of Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Louisiana, US, who led the research, said AD-36 continued to add weight gain long after those infected had seemingly recovered.

His studies indicated that the virus lingers for up to three months, during which time it multiplies fat and is contagious to others.

Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar said: “When AD-36 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 people get fat when they are infected with this virus.” The findings were welcomed by some medical experts, although others sounded a note of caution.

Dr Shahrad Taheri, clinical director for obesity at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, said: “Most people believe obesity is caused by environmental factors.

“But there is a lot of information about how things like the furring up of arteries could be linked to infections. It is not beyond reason to think about various different factors, including infections, adding into the mix about what causes obesity.”

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