Navigation Links
Mayo Clinic Proceedings article explores possible link between obesity and viral infections
Date:10/23/2007

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Experts dont dispute the important role that diet and activity play in maintaining a healthy weight. But can poor eating habits and a less active lifestyle fully explain the prevalence of obesity in the United States today? That question has led some researchers to ask whether there might be other causes for this serious problem. In the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researcher Richard Atkinson, M.D., asserts that there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that viruses may play a role in causing obesity in humans.

The cause of obesity is not a secret -- if you consume more calories than you burn in daily activity, you gain weight. What is interesting is that much of the obesity epidemic cannot be explained just by Americans eating more and exercising less. There are other factors at play, and viruses causing obesity may be one of them, say Dr. Atkinson.

Dr. Atkinson, director of Obetech Obesity Research Center in Richmond, Va., reviewed multiple published articles that demonstrate a connection between viral infections and obesity. His article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings discusses five animal viruses and three human viruses that have been shown to cause obesity in laboratory studies.

According to Dr. Atkinson, several studies offer ample evidence that animals infected with certain human viruses experience excess weight gain and fat storage. When researchers infected animal subjects with a human virus known as Human Ad-36, they reported measurable increases in the infected animals body fat and the visceral fat that surrounds the organs deep within the belly. In addition, studies also demonstrated that infection with Ad-36 and the resulting weight gain could be transmitted from infected animals to uninfected animals.

Information on virus-induced obesity in human subjects is much more limited. Citing his own study conducted in 2005, Dr. Atkinson also showed a connection between obesity and exposure to the Ad-36 virus in humans. Dr. Atkinsons study screened for antibodies to Ad-36 (a sign of exposure to this virus) in 502 people of varying body weights, both obese and non-obese, from three cities in the United States. Ad-36 antibodies were found in 30 percent of obese individuals and 11 percent of lean individuals. Study results also showed highly significant differences in body mass index (BMI) between antibody-positive and antibody-negative individuals.

Dr. Atkinson also highlighted a study that looked at 89 sets of American adult twins and screened them for Ad-36. Because twins tend to be similar in many characteristics, including body weight, the researchers looked at twin pairs where one twin tested positively for Ad-36 and the other did not.

Antibody-positive twins were slightly, but significantly, heavier and fatter than their antibody negative co-twins, says Dr. Atkinson. The infected twins had a higher BMI and a greater percent of body fat than the uninfected co-twins.

In the mid-1970s, a virus called SMAM-1 was believed responsible for an increased death rate among commercially raised chickens in India. SMAM-1 is associated with decreased immune function and an increased accumulation of body fat in infected chickens. Dr. Atkinson reports that one study tested 52 obese humans for antibodies to SMAM-1. About 20 percent had SMAM-1 antibodies, indicating exposure to this virus. The study participants who had these antibodies were heavier and had a higher body mass index compared with the antibody-negative group.

Dr. Atkinsons article also explores what current research has to say about the possible mechanisms underlying virus-induced obesity. Some research suggests that viral infections have a direct effect on adipocytes, cells that manufacture and store fat, turning on the enzymes of fat accumulation and recruitment of new adipocytes.

Whats the next step for this research? According to Dr. Atkinson, the body of evidence linking adenoviruses to obesity in humans is now sufficient to think about the next step. Ideally, we could prevent infection and virus-induced obesity with a vaccine for the obesity viruses. Development of a human vaccine will take several years.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Murphy
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists plan human cloning clinic in the United States
2. How do patients benefit of clinical trials
3. Magnetic resonance angiography in clinical medicine
4. Clinical trials need to be more frank
5. AEternas acquisition of Zentaris being followed up with its new product pipeline and clinical development strategy
6. Physicians Lack Clinical Guidelines For Treating Elderly With Multiple Illnesses
7. The Growing Rise In Clinical Research Could Lead To A Compromise In Quality Of Research And Ethics
8. Clinical Comparisons Between ADHD Drugs Are Less
9. Specialized Clinics For Manipurs AIDS Patients
10. Outsourcing clinical trials to India
11. Erectile dysfunction: an early warning sign of clinically silent coronary artery disease?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... ... , ... An inventor and manicurist from Greet, S.C., wants to offer people a new way ... maintain clean and healthy feet, so I know the importance of proper foot care," he ... designed the FOOT-TRAN SYSTEM." , The FOOT-TRAN SYSTEM enables a user to clean and exfoliate ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... ... March 30, 2017 , ... This ... to President Trump expressing their support for an independent Vaccine Safety Commission. Five ... and one medical journalist, will hold a press conference at 9:00 AM ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... In the ... to 300,000 people each year develop other types of metastatic brain tumors(3). Though most ... the brain(3). As efforts focus on finding more effective treatment options, the San ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... ... the main cause of hay fever in the United States, with an estimated 95 percent ... to July each year; with the worst time for sufferers being June and July. ... ) provide an effective defense against grass pollen; they are proven in independent studies to ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... St. Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) , ... March 30, 2017 , ... ... Often called the "Spice of Life" or "Wonder Spice", it has been used for ... extensive use in the East," says Heshelow, author of " Turmeric: How to Use ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  Purcell Julie & Lefkowitz LLP, ... is investigating a potential breach of fiduciary duty claim involving ... SGYP ). If you are a ... information regarding this investigation, free of charge, please visit us ... ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017  Bodycad announced today that ... (FDA) 510(k) clearance for its Bodycad Unicompartmental Knee ... personalized orthopaedic restoration. Bodycad is the first Canadian ... reconstruction implant system. Bodycad,s revolutionary ... restoration of the patient,s unique anatomical features and ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , Mar. 29, 2017 Research and Markets ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global energy-based aesthetic devices market ... The report, Global Energy-Based Aesthetic Devices Market 2017-2021, ... from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape and its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: