Monday, September 20, 2010

Childhood cold virus could lead to development of obesity

The virus, which causes coughs and colds and is spread by dirty hands, could also attack fat cells causing them to multiply.

This increase can trigger a significant gain in weight, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Researchers at the University of California in San Diego examined 124 children aged eight to 18 for antibodies created when their immune systems were exposed to adenovirus 36.

The antibodies were found in 15 out of 67 obese children, compared with just four out of the 57 non-obese youngsters, the researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.

Children who had been exposed to the virus weighed 50lb more on average.

It is not clear to what extent the virus can be used to explain the epidemic proportions of western obesity when compared to other factors such as lack of exercise and poor diet.

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