Obesity may be contagious


06/02/2012

Many of us have heard that obesity can "spread" among friends, individuals of one group or one group who adopt the habits and food preferences of each other. But a new study conducted on mice showed that obesity may actually be an infectious disease, meaning that it can be easy for someone to pick up.

In the analysis, the mice that were created in the laboratory with the specific form of immune deficiency, developed fatty liver disease, and they rapidly gained weight by eating foods typical of a Western-style diet. Quite striking was the fact that when mice with a defect placed in the same cage with healthy animals, the latter began to show symptoms of liver disease, and they also began to gain weight.

The reason? Microbes in the stomachs of mice. Because the immune system of experimental animals has been broken, the bacteria in their intestines just "mad" as the principal investigator for the analysis said Richard Flavell (Richard Flavell), Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine. We usually live in symbiosis with bacteria that inhabit our intestines, but analysis by "bad" pathogenic bacteria in immunodeficient animals increased 1000 times as Flavell added.

It is these bad bacteria that were transmitted from mouse to mouse, and caused changes in the composition of intestinal bacteria, causing obesity animals. "We could make a mouse fatter just by putting it in the same cage with the sick mice," - said Flavell.

The main question is: can something like this happen to a man? Perhaps, but in order to detect it, will require a number of further research, as reported by Flavell. Infectious obesity, noted in this analysis are more likely to mice than to humans because mice eat the dung of their brethren - the most efficient way to transfer intestinal bacteria.

However, the researchers noted that "this should be seriously considered by the example of the people." Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is very common among obese people, affecting 75 percent of 100 percent of the obese population, as reported by the scientists. Approximately 20 percent of these individuals, the disease develops rapidly and becomes a serious degree.

First it was thought that if two family members living in the same house, began to develop liver disease or obesity, people should not blame genetics. But the new analysis shows that a huge role in this and can play Wednesday.

If something like this is typical for a person, then the treatment of obesity and fatty liver disease, which is closely related to the microorganisms of the intestine, allow for the use of antibiotics or probiotics in addition to the traditional methods of treatment, as noted by Flavell.

"This study raises questions about the role that bacteria living in our intestines play in susceptibility to liver disease and its complications," - said Dr. Dzhasmohan Bazhazh (Jasmohan Bajaj), professor of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at the University of Virginia, who was not involved in the analysis.

The analysis was published in the online version of the publication "Nature".

Original: LiveScience


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