Obesity is associated with numerous metabolic comorbidities. Weight loss is an effective measure for alleviating many of these metabolic abnormalities. However, considering the limited success of most medical weight-management approaches in producing a sustained weight loss, approaches that improve obesity-related metabolic abnormalities independent of weight loss would be extremely attractive and of practical benefit. Metabolically healthy obesity supports the notion that a better metabolic profile is possible despite obesity. Moreover, adequate expansion of adipose tissue appears to confer protection from obesity-induced metabolic comorbidities. To this end, the 10th Stock conference examined new approaches to improve metabolic comorbidities independent of weight loss. In particular, human adenovirus 36 (Ad36) and specific gut microbes were examined for their potential to influence lipid and glucose homeostasis in animals and humans. While these microbes possess some undesirable properties, research has identified attributes of adenovirus Ad36 and gut microbes that may be selectively harnessed to improve metabolic profile without the obligatory weight loss. Furthermore, identifying the host signalling pathways that these microbes recruit to improve the metabolic profile may offer new templates and targets, which may facilitate the development of novel treatment strategies for obesity-related metabolic conditions.
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