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Did a virus make you fat?

by (20787)
Updated October 21, 2014 at 3:08 AM
Created October 21, 2010 at 7:41 AM

Interesting article: http://www.science20.com/news_articles/obesity_virus_can_ad36_cold_virus_make_kids_fat There is evidence that some viruses might play a strong role in the development of obesity. Thoughts?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 22, 2010 at 4:43 AM

Another interesting link. Controlled study shows likely causal relationship between a particular adenovirus and weight gain in chickens. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=study-strengthens-link-be

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 22, 2010 at 3:54 AM

Oh, you get the prize for taking this seriously enough to post an interesting link! Looks like there is good evidence that viruses do cause weight gain in animals. Will have to dig into this more and see how robust the evidence is.

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20787 · October 22, 2010 at 3:45 AM

Hehe, I had not even thought about worrying about fat people being infectious! Just because you have antibodies does not mean you have an illness. It only means you had it once upon a time and so your body made antibodies to it.

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20787 · October 22, 2010 at 3:43 AM

Could be, but there was that interesting bit of info about what the virus does inside cells which did catch my eye. Anyway, it's WAY too soon to read much into this research, but I did think it was interesting. The more we research, the more we find that viruses have a stronger influence than we had suspected. Could be that they even influence metabolic issues. Or not. But I think down the line we will find much interesting info coming out about how viruses do effect us in various ways.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 22, 2010 at 3:39 AM

If virus was in part causal, I would guess it would only be one of many influences and not enough in itself to cause major fatness. You would still need other influences. Needing other influences, however, does not negate that viruses my also influence.

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3651 · October 21, 2010 at 6:03 PM

i think this virus must have mutated to be able to force feed children sugar and refined carbohydrates in order to trigger the fat storing insulin response. a miracle of evolution! or perhaps the virus is more metophorical like - the virus of bad government policy or the virus of poor parenting

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22913 · October 21, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Seems alot more reasonable assumption

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20411 · October 21, 2010 at 12:09 PM

And does the virus run in families?

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22913 · October 21, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Hah exactly my thoughts on it

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3690 · October 21, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Paul and Shou-Ching from the perfect health diet talked about this:

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=606

Here are some wise words from them:

I certainly wouldn???t avoid contact with obese people for fear of contracting AD-36. These pathogens are everywhere and infection is inevitable. Most elderly probably have hundreds of chronic infections.

The key to health is not avoiding germs, but maintaining a powerful immune system that prevents pathogens from causing disease. That means a healthy diet, good nutrition, and immune-enhancing practices like fasting and ketogenic diet days.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 22, 2010 at 3:54 AM

Oh, you get the prize for taking this seriously enough to post an interesting link! Looks like there is good evidence that viruses do cause weight gain in animals. Will have to dig into this more and see how robust the evidence is.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 22, 2010 at 3:45 AM

Hehe, I had not even thought about worrying about fat people being infectious! Just because you have antibodies does not mean you have an illness. It only means you had it once upon a time and so your body made antibodies to it.

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1215 · October 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

2 Questions:

Does this virus only exists in the Anglo-American sphere? (US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand)

And will the pharmaceutical companies come up with a pill / vaccination to protect us from this virus?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 22, 2010 at 3:39 AM

If virus was in part causal, I would guess it would only be one of many influences and not enough in itself to cause major fatness. You would still need other influences. Needing other influences, however, does not negate that viruses my also influence.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3
3651 · October 21, 2010 at 6:03 PM

i think this virus must have mutated to be able to force feed children sugar and refined carbohydrates in order to trigger the fat storing insulin response. a miracle of evolution! or perhaps the virus is more metophorical like - the virus of bad government policy or the virus of poor parenting

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · October 21, 2010 at 12:09 PM

And does the virus run in families?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · October 21, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Hah exactly my thoughts on it

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223 · October 21, 2010 at 1:09 PM

I don't know enough about immunology to make a really cogent argument, but is there a possibility here of reverse causation (e.g. metabolic damage -> poor health -> infection)?

Just to run some numbers:

As the article reports, given that you have AD-36, you are quite likely to be obese.

P( Obese | AD-36 ) =~ 78%

From the numbers reported (and a few conditional prob. calculations), it seems that:

P( AD-36 | Obese ) =~ 22%

P( AD-36 | Not Obese ) =~ 6%

So if you are obese, you are over 3x more likely to have AD-36 then the non-obese. Interesting stuff.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 22, 2010 at 3:43 AM

Could be, but there was that interesting bit of info about what the virus does inside cells which did catch my eye. Anyway, it's WAY too soon to read much into this research, but I did think it was interesting. The more we research, the more we find that viruses have a stronger influence than we had suspected. Could be that they even influence metabolic issues. Or not. But I think down the line we will find much interesting info coming out about how viruses do effect us in various ways.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · October 21, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Seems alot more reasonable assumption

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