The obesity factors are well known at this time
Or, at least, we thought we know, because it seems like obesity factors may be triggered by some type of a virus. As weird as it may seem, this is not a new theory, since some signs have been noticed for quite a while now. It is a particularly important finding because overweight is a growing tendency across the world, with the numbers of those who are obese nearly doubled since the 1980s. Even though it is a preventable condition, we simply seem to have little response to the worsening of the situation worldwide and children are falling victims at an alarmingly increasing rate.
Almost 50 million children under the age of 6 fall victim to the obesity factors and close to 40% of the adult population of the world has been found to be overweight. Until now, the obesity factors were quite easy to determine. In essence, there are several aspects that increase the risk of becoming overweight considerably:
- A sedentary lifestyle
Not having enough physical activity means that the body will store carbs and sugars as fat. Over time, the process of weight gain will increase in intensity proportionally with the mass of fat, at which point there is little you can do to go back. The sedentary lifestyle has been shown to be among the top death causes in the world and the situation does not seem to change anytime soon.
- Inadequate eating habits
Although not crucial in determining a person’s body weight later on in life, it has been noticed that people who have had parents or grandparents who were overweight have more chances to develop the same problems as adults.
A mysterious virus seems to cause obesity today
If you think this sounds interesting, how about the fact that the main culprit seems to be the common chicken? As the various observation shows, several cases seem to verify this theory. In this regard, we have the case of Randy, a 62 years old American who, in the 50s, who was scratched by a rooster when trying to move it to its cage. Several days later, after caring for his open wound, he noticed an increase in its food appetite. Weirdly enough, this newly acquired tendency didn’t stop and it followed him throughout his adulthood, making him overweight.
He was not the only case because others were documented over time and then the breakthrough happened, more precisely in Mumbai, India. An Indian scientist teamed up with a veterinary pathologist for what could be a major medical breakthrough. They have discovered a specific virus present in some of the chicken hosts that have been analyzed. According to the findings, that virus, called SMAM-1, was the one triggering the obesity factors in the birds.
It seems like the testing subjects, aka the chickens, had extreme fat deposits in the abdomen, as well as on the organs and this tendency has been noticed strictly in those who had the virus. The others seemed to have been unaffected. As a result, the scientists have replicated the conditions in a series of tests, to see whether the conclusions are reliable or not. Guess what? They were.
But mere animal testing cannot be relevant for the same effects in the case of humans, right? Right. However, human testing is difficult, especially when talking about viruses and potentially dangerous diseases, so Nikhil Dhurandhar, one of the researchers involved in the study, verified human tests subjects to see if they have been exposed to the virus sometimes in the past and how exactly it affected their system.
Turns out that all those who have been subjected to obesity factors over their lifetime, and had the virus on top of that, had a higher chance of becoming obese and were overweight in the large majority. It was an interesting find and the study has been replicated in the US as well, more precisely in the University of Wisconsin, with Dr. Richard Atkinson being one of the leaders of the study.
According to the new findings, the SMAM-1 virus can be included in the obesity factors category, since it:
- Increases blood glucose levels, aiding in assimilating it as fat
- Promotes the action of the fatty acid synthase, which is known to synthesize fat and create fat molecules
- Actively creates more fat cells and contribute to increasing weight in the subjects, by enlarging the fat deposits
Troubling findings with interesting perspectives.
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