Press Release for The Potbelly Syndrome
For immediate release 
A new book argues against the conventional idea that people develop potbellies because they eat too much or don't exercise enough. Instead, it suggests that potbellies and type 2 diabetes are caused by chronic infections. The infections produce inflammation, and the inflammation triggers the release of a stress hormone called cortisol.
In The Potbelly Syndrome: How Common Germs Cause Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease (Basic Health Publications, U.S. $17.95⁄Canada $23.95), Russell Farris and Per Mårin, M.D., Ph.D., explain that inflammation is a form of stress, and the stress from inflammations combines with ordinary stress to raise our cortisol levels. The extra cortisol produces chronic subtle hypercortisolism, or, as the authors prefer to call it, potbelly syndrome (PBS). The main features of PBS are insulin resistance, central obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Heart disease is caused by some of the same germs that cause PBS--that's why PBS and heart disease are often, but not always, found together. The authors describe several germs that are linked to both PBS and heart disease, including cytomegalovirus, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, and Helicobacter pylori.  These are very common germs, and most adults are infected with at least two of them. The authors also explain:
People with PBS are usually told to eat less, but dieting almost never works because our weight is controlled by hormones, not willpower. The authors acknowledge that some foods are better for us than others--but no change in the kind or amount of food we eat will ever eradicate the germs that cause potbelly syndrome and heart disease.  Similarly, while exercise is good for us, it cannot eliminate chronic infections. To have healthy hearts and flat stomachs, we need to do three difficult things:
1.         Reduce our exposure to stress (Chapter 18)
2.         Increase our resistance to stress (Chapter 19)
3.         Eradicate our chronic infections (Chapter 20)
The authors of The Potbelly Syndrome say that we can reduce our stress levels by ourselves, but we will need help from some pretty sharp doctors to eradicate the infections that cause obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
About the authors:
Russell Farris is a retired artificial-intelligence researcher who spent most of his life solving problems for the U.S. Navy. After suffering a heart attack in 1998, he began to apply his problem-solving skills to the study of heart disease and related illnesses.
Per Mårin, M.D., Ph.D., is a distinguished scientist, physician, and clinical teacher from Sweden. He has been writing about obesity since 1985, and many of his eighty-two publications deal with the effects of cortisol on weight and health.
The Potbelly Syndrome: How Common Germs Cause Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease
By Russell Farris and Per Mårin, M.D., Ph.D.
Basic Health Publications
ISBN: 1-59120-058-X
Price:  U.S.  $17.95⁄Canada $23.95
Publication: January 2006
Book info
The ideas presented in The Potbelly Syndrome are described above and at the website,, but here is some information about the book itself:
         Readability. The Potbelly Syndrome contains more new information than most health books, so there is no way to make it as simple as a diet or exercise book, where the concepts are familiar to every reader. Still, the book is pretty easy to read. There is a light sprinkling of humor and irony.
Contents. Here is the table of contents for The Potbelly Syndrome:
There is more information at:www⁄⁄

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