“Be prepared” was a Boy Scout motto from my youth, and it was never so appropriate as today if what the recent study on obesity revealed is true. 

In an article written by Jennifer Corbett Dooren, in the Wall Street Journal, 9/21/10, researchers appear to have found a link between a type of virus and obesity, perhaps partially explaining the exponential increase in obesity rates via an environmental factor. The virus is called adenovirus-36, and several researchers are looking at whether this virus might play a role in the developement of obesity.

There are more than 50 known adenoviruses; most cause respiratory infections or gastrointestinal distress; adenovirus-36 (AD-36) is the only one with a direct link to obesity. Animal studies have shown that those infested with AD-36 gain weight (fat). The virus infects fat cells and causes them to grow more quickly and multiply in greater numbers than normal. Scientists are unaware if AD-36 causes weight gain in humans.

The article doesn’t say how long the virus affects the fat cells or how long it takes to run its course, or even if you can get rid of it, so I think prevention is key. “Be Prepared” to boost your immune system: get plenty of sleep, wash your hands, eat well, exercise, and supplement if necessary.

If you are taking glucosamine or chondroitin for arthritis in the hip or knee, be aware that it’s probably not doing you any good. It’s not doing you any harm either. You just need to weigh the cost:benefit ratio and decide if taking them are worth it. 

FYI. The FDA has just approved the cold fat-blaster and the cold laser treatment I spoke of a few days ago. Treatment centers will pop-up around the country very quickly.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.