A virus first found in chickens is implicated in human obesity

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/02/a-virus-first-found-in-chicken.html


Healthy gut flora is all but extinct in the Western world. The culprits are many…


From an article entitled “Implications for health and disease in the genetic signature of the Ashkenazi Jewish population.”:

“Results also impact risk profiles for autoimmune and metabolic disorders in this population.” [1]

So there’s that as well.

You’ve already tried ketosis by the sound of it, you might want to take a close look at your thyroid function as well.


-A chochem

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22277159

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Microbiome is the next frontier in medicine. So many things can be explained by the bacteria in our guts.


It’s obvious to me that weight is not a simple matter…

Ok, then it is a simple matter…

It seems you have proven by logic the article actually means its own contradiction. By induction, it can be shown that everything is true. I suppose this is 21st century logic.




Also video posted with transcript at Nutrition Facts.org

Except that’s not actually true, as it has been proven in recent years. Even if people lose weight initially, it is often almost impossible to keep it off, even with lifestyle changes. It isn’t simple like you want to make it out to be.

See this, for example:


BTW, this is just offensive and a shit thing to say.


I highly recommend Greek yogurt. My gut biome is super awesome these days. I actually look forward to my morning constitutionals.

My guess is you are relatively young and haven’t experienced the metabolism slow down that is common in middle age.

That’s ok. You’ll see the errors in your reasoning eventually.


Have you applied for Surgeon General under the Trump administration? Sounds like you’d be perfect.


I skimmed the NY Times article. I gather the basic idea is the body will fight to return to its original weight through a slowing metabolism and uncontrollable urges to eat. I imagine the “fat-logic” side would simply say, “If your metabolism is slowing, you just have to eat even less!”.

But if there are hormone changes, why isn’t this judged to be a kind of eating disorder? No one expects an anorexic to be cured by saying to them “Just stop doing that.” I suppose these debates rage over why a person is perceived to be failing. Do they have a character flaw where they can’t resist temptation? Or is something out of balance in the brain where it is impossible to stop what they are doing?

It reminds me of those stories of parasites and viruses that control the minds of their hosts. The recent post about gypsy moth caterpillars talked about the virus that compels them to climb to the highest branches so their liquefying bodes will rain down on the greatest numbers of leaves to spread the virus further.

I also struggle to maintain my borderline healthy weight. I can sometimes resist snacking and over eating sweets for many weeks, but at some point a switch flips and I just stop caring and eat too much. How do I judge my own failings? Am I just not trying hard enough, or am I doomed by some chemistry I can’t control. (And how close are we to slipping into a discussion about free will.)


Because the causes aren’t well understood and it is still being investigated.[quote=“Liam1, post:15, topic:92120”]
I also struggle to maintain my borderline healthy weight. I can sometimes resist snacking and over eating sweets for many weeks, but at some point a switch flips and I just stop caring and eat too much. How do I judge my own failings? Am I just not trying hard enough, or am I doomed by some chemistry I can’t control.

I’ve seen abstracts of other studies that say when we control for known factors, we’re still (on average) 10% heavier than a few generations ago and we don’t know why. An environment factor (or one in our microbiome) is a strong candidate. We don’t actually eat much worse (or worse at all) than our great-grandparents.


The following is entirely anecdotal;

I’m beginning to believe that “thin” and/or “sexy” is something you must start when you are a teen. I’ve known a lot of people who have lost a lot of weight, but the “thin/ sexy” never lasts. They never get back up to previous levels of obesity but the belly jelly always comes back. It seems like once you go fat, you never go back… so to speak.

I personally always hit a weight loss wall (Faster and faster as I age, I should point out) in my life-long yo-yoing that I’ve only been able to get over with a lot of time exercising. Even then I had to deal with both diminishing returns for my effort and a very fast weight gain the second I stopped grinding out 3+ hours of exercise a day.

These days I’m focused on being healthy enough to do the things I want without a lot of pain afterwards and have given up on fitting into my Public Enemy t-shirt from 1989. (Only thing of value I ever got from that relationship) My recent week in Seoul pretty much saw me walking between four and six hours a day. And while I was passed out on the hotel bed by 9pm each time I wasn’t a crippled mess the following day. My six pack is still deep in the bag, but at least I can carry it around, yah know?


I do 25 minutes of pilates every day, work out three days a week in a 35-45 minute routine, and walk about 15,000 steps a day (over two hours) just to keep my weight about the same. I don’t eat super picky but other than a regular beer, I don’t eat sweets constantly, don’t eat chips normally, don’t eat fast food at all. My body’s set point is in about a 10 lb range if I don’t fight it. The most weight I lost was when I had a viral illness for three months 8 years ago that almost killed me and I went from around 240 lbs to 193. These days, I keep it around 205. When I was a power lifter for three years (which ended three years ago), my weight was 212-215 and I lifted five or six days a week.


if only we listened!


I tried Greek yogurt, after that my gut kept telling me that I should retire and live on my pension.


Well, you certainly don’t want a hard Grexit…


Having read the Wired article, Ad-36 is correlated with obesity and weight gain in the studies that Dhurandhar did. If I get a vaccination against it or otherwise somehow clear the virus do I lose the tendency to gain weight? The study mentioned antibodies to Ad-36 which doesn’t necessarily mean an active infection but a previous one. Are the changes permanent or reversible?

I remember long ago in biology and genetics classes learning what viruses do when they infect, rewriting the genetic code in cells to make more of themselves, leaving bits of their DNA behind. I wondered why anyone survives such an attack let alone the many we get in our lifetimes.