Yep, you read it right. They have discovered that one of the reasons some people become obese is due to a virus.
Lab tests showed that exposure to adenovirus-36 (Ad-36), which causes respiratory and eye infections, also causes stem cells to develop into fat cells.
Ad-36 stimulates human adult stem cells to become pre-fat cells and store more fat. Not only do they store fat, but they actually do it faster!
And… Ad-36 is much more prevalent among obese people than thin people.
This could be HUGE (no pun intended)!
Imagine what a difference a vaccine or antibiotic could make for those who are affected by this virus, which causes them to gain weight through no fault of their own.
The researchers also identified a gene in the Ad-36 virus known as E4Orfl, that appears to be directly responsible for the promotion of fat growth. The identification of this gene provides a target for future anti-obesity therapies, the team said.
Oh happy day!