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Obesity News: Scientist Discovers Mysterious Chicken Virus Linked to Obesity

Update Date: Jan 03, 2017 08:50 AM EST
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Obesity is one of the major issues in the world. Now, this condition has been linked to a mysterious virus : a chicken virus discovered by Indian scientist Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar. The nutritional biochemist and physician has been involved with treating obesity and research for over twenty years. 

According to PJ Media, Dhurandhar detected the virus in Mumbai when he was not able to come up with a solution for his obese patients, leading them to come back for treatment. 

"The problem was that I was not able to produce something for patients that could have meaningful weight loss that was sustainable for a long time," Dhurandhar said. 

It was through a discussion with veteraniary pathologist S. M. Ajinkya that provided him the breakthrough he needed. Ajinkya mentioned an epidemic that began to spread in the Indian poultry industry which lead to the deaths of thousands of chickens. 

The animals were found to have shrunken thymuses, and have enlarged kidneys and livers. Its fats were primarily deposited in the abdomen. This was an unusual case as viruses typically lead to weight loss, not gain.

As part of his PhD project, he began to investigate on the possibility of viruses causing additional weight to patients, as reported by Wired. His study involved a group of 20 healthy chickens, with half of them infected with the SMAM-1 virus. They were fed equal amounts of food during the experiment. 

Results showed that the group with the virus grew fat and showed lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in their blood. The other chickens neither gained or lost weight. 

He conducted a similar experiment with a larger study group and got the same outocmes as well. 

Based on Dhurandhar's bio at Texas Tech University, he has treated over 10,000 patients for obesity using lifestyle therapy and pharmacological approaches. He invented the term "Infectobesity" to describe obesity of infectious origin.  

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