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21st Century Obesity Pandemic Still Suffering From Effects of Tuberculosis Plague of the 1800s
Date:6/23/2009

Jesse Roth, MD, a diabetes and obesity researcher at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, has identified a link between tuberculosis and the metabolic and inflammatory processes that is tied to obesity.

Manhasset, NY (Vocus) June 23, 2009 -- Modern humans are a long way from starvation or pandemic infectious diseases like tuberculosis that took the lives of a billion people. But the body's banking system that deposits calories in the event of famine or acute infection is continuing to respond as it did in olden times. Jesse Roth, MD, a diabetes and obesity researcher at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, has identified a link between tuberculosis and the metabolic and inflammatory processes that is tied to obesity. In an intriguing commentary in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Roth explains how the modern body has evolved to handle this banking problem - and why it was favorable to human health more than 100 years ago but bad for human health today.

"Unlike our ancestors, we are faced with an abundance of food and our bodies store excess fat that triggers a pro-inflammatory response in systems that evolution created to handle microbial threats," said Dr. Roth. "People who are obese have more pro-inflammatory forces going on. This is a carry over from 100 years ago when tuberculosis was much more of a continuing threat and food
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