Richard G. Petty, MD

Viruses and Weight Gain

Another discussion in Healing, Meaning and Purpose revolved around the evidence that in addition to toxins, viruses have been attracting a great deal of attention as causative agents of obesity in humans. There are currently seven viruses known to cause obesity in animals and three in humans. This work began almost twenty years ago when a Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar was working in India and discovered that viruses could cause obesity. It started with a chance observation: thousands of chickens were dying, and when they did, they were found to be abnormally heavy. He then discovered that people who had been exposed to a chicken adenovirus called SMAM-1 were consistently fatter than those who had had no exposure. He later moved to the U.S., and has collaborated with other researchers to study whether human adenoviruses, which are common throughout the human population, could be having a similar effect. This led to the discovery that the human adenovirus Ad-36 caused significant fat increases in animals, and furthermore was associated with obesity in humans. Now we have a new report from Leah Whigham and her team at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who tested several human adenoviruses for their ability to increase fat in both live chickens and in cell culture.

It is not at all far-fetched to suggest that there may in the future be vaccines to prevent one of the many causes of obesity. But for now, follow simple rules of hygiene and do everything that you can to improve your own resistance to infection. Which gets us straight back to Healing, Meaning and Purpose!

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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