An off-patent drug used to treat canker sores has been found to cause significant weight loss in obese mice, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that weight loss occurred without any change to the diet and exercise habits of the test subjects. The study surrounds the use of Amlexanox, which is used in the US as a treatment for canker sores.
Obese mice injected with the drug lost weight despite consuming the same amount of calories. The mice experienced weight gain once they were taken off the Amlexanox injections.
CNN News reports that the new study may lead to a viable weight loss option once human testing is conducted by university researchers later this year.
While numerous drugs do not produce the same effects in people as they do in mice, doctors from the University of Michigan are encouraged by the results of their research.
The findings come from the lab of Alan Saltiel, the Mary Sue Coleman director of the Life Sciences Institute at the university. Saltiel spoke about the study in a February 10 news release:
“One of the reasons that diets are so ineffective in producing weight loss for some people is that their bodies adjust to the reduced calories by also reducing their metabolism, so that they are ‘defending’ their body weight. Amlexanox seems to tweak the metabolic response to excessive calorie storage in mice.”
Never before associated with weight loss, an ointment form of the Amlexanox drug has been used to treat canker sores for more than a decade.