Could obesity be something you can catch?
8th February 2012
It is widely assumed that obesity is a condition simply brought on primarily by one’s poor lifestyle choices. We are probably all familiar with couples who pile on the pounds after marrying, and overweight friends who merely seem to promote each others bad eating habits. However, scientists at Yale University amazingly now claim that obesity could in fact be infectious. Researchers, led by senior study author Professor Richard Flavell, conducted tests on stomach bacteria in mice. Certain mice were contrived to have a deficiency in components of two particular inflammasomes, which then aided in assessing the severity of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Imflammasomes are proteins and are responsible for starting the immune system's inflammatory response and behave as regulators and sensors of the microbial environment in the intestines. These mice subsequently gained weight after being fed Western-style foods. Healthy mice were then placed into the same cages as the immune-deficient mice and the results were startling. The healthier mice began to develop symptoms of liver disease and then gained weight. The cause of this weight gain is thought to be related to microbes in the stomachs of the mice. According to Flavell, the disturbance in the immune systems of the mice may have affected the bacteria in their stomachs. He also remarked “We found in mice, that targeted antibiotic treatment brought the microbial composition back to normal, and thus eased the liver disease. Our hope is that our findings may eventually lead to a treatment for humans”. Dr Jasmohan Bajaj of Virginia Commonwealth University, who is not connected to the study, commented on it’s findings: “This is a very thought provoking study that underlines the role of the bugs that we all carry inside us in determining our susceptibility to liver disease and its complications”.  He also noted that although humans are more complex than mice, “these experiments form a key step forward”. If you are overweight or obese and are looking to lose weight, Medical Specialists can help. Xenical is a clinically proven and prescription only slimming medication. It works in the digestive system, blocking roughly one-third of the fat in the food you eat from being digested and absorbed by your body. Alli is a slightly weaker version of Xenical and can be obtained from our chemist shop without a prescription, the only FDA approved medication of it’s kind.