Viruses explain obesity

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.


There are alternate models for the obesity epidemic. Environmental contamination by endocrine disrupting chemicals might be one direction to look in. Another might be the AD36 adenovirus:

Nikhil Dhurandhar, an obesity researcher at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has shown that a human adenovirus called AD36 raises body-fat levels in animal models such as chickens and rodents. What’s more, he found that obese humans were three times more likely to be infected with the virus than non-obese people — and heavier individuals in both groups tended to be infected. Dhurandhar reported these findings in a 2005 paper.

The link between AD36 and obesity is suggestive but not yet conclusive, and there are criticisms of the research; it treads on dangerous ground. In particular, many large corporations would love to see the obesity epidemic pinned on something other than their own sub-standard food products (just as coal mines would like to blame climate change on solar output fluctuations).

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