Common Virus Linked to Obesity

Fat cells exposed to virus grow in size and number
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 21, 2007 8:07 AM CDT
Common Virus Linked to Obesity
A food booth that features deep-freed goodies is pictured at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Aug 8, 2007. All of the deep-fried items are being cooked in oil free of the trans fats linked to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Indiana is the first state to make the switch at its...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A virus that causes sore throats and eye infections may also contribute to obesity, new research suggests. leaving infected people with more and larger fat cells than uninfected people have. The discovery could lead to the development of anti-obesity vaccines and may help explain why some obese people have healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the Guardian reports.

Obese people in a study released yesterday were three times more likely than the nonobese to be infected with adenovirus-36, which causes throat infections and pinkeye. Stem cells exposed to a-36 in the lab grew in both size and number, indicating for the first time a link between the virus and weight gain, a connection already established in a-36-infected animals. (Read more obesity stories.)

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