OLD DRUG MAY HAVE NEW USE TO HELP REVERSE OBESITY
Says new study
February 11, 2013
(NATIONAL) -- What is old is new again and besides being new, may help reverse obesity one day. A study done by the University of Michigan's Life Sciences Institute, and published online Feb. 10 in the journal Nature Medicine finds that Amlexanox, an off-patent drug currently prescribed for the treatment of asthma and other uses, has been found to reverse obesity, diabetes and fatty liver in mice.
A tube of Aphthasol, prescribed to treat canker sores. Aphthasol is the trade name of Amlexanox. CLICK TO ENLARGE.
The findings were published online Feb. 10 in the journal Nature Medicine.
One of the reasons diets are ineffective for some people trying to lose weight is that their bodies adjust to the reduced calories by also reducing their metabolism, so that they end up in effect defending their body from losing any more weight. Researchers in the study found that Amlexanox appears to adjust or fine-tune the metabolic response to excessive calorie storage, at least in mice.
Alan Saltiel, director of the Life Sciences Institute said Amlexanox appears to work in mice, “By inhibiting two genes, IKKE and TBK1 that we think together act as a sort of brake on metabolism. By releasing the brake, Amlexanox seems to free the metabolic system to burn more, and possibly store less, energy."
Different formulations of Amlexanox are used to treat asthma in Japan and canker sores in the United States. Clinical trials will need to be performed to see if Amlexanox's effectiveness can translate into a safe and effective treatment for treating obesity and diabetes in humans.