Tags: obesity | contagious | link | liver | disease | infectious

Is Obesity Contagious?

Monday, 06 February 2012 01:11 PM

Obesity and chronic liver disease may be caused by infections triggered by microbes in the gut – meaning both conditions are potentially infectious, according to a new study of mice.
Yale University researchers, reporting in the journal Nature, said their study found obesity and liver disease is triggered by a family of proteins that alter microbes in the stomachs of mice.
The study builds on earlier Yale research that found similar microbial imbalances increase the risk of intestinal diseases such as colitis.
“When healthy mice were co-housed with mice that had altered gut microbes, the healthy mice also developed a susceptibility for development of liver disease and obesity,” said senior author Richard A. Flavell, of Yale School of Medicine, in a university release on the study.
“Our hope is that our findings may eventually lead to a treatment for humans.”
The proteins in question are called inflammasomes, which trigger the body’s immune system. They also act as sensors and regulators of the microbial environment of the intestines.

© HealthDay

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Provocative Yale study of mice finds obesity, liver disease might be infectious conditions.
Monday, 06 February 2012 01:11 PM
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