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Canker Sore Drug Sheds Pounds in Mice

Posted on February 14 2013

Excessive body weight has become a major concern for America, with more than one-third of the population being obese. A new study out reveals that an already existing medication, commonly used for the treatment of canker sores, could offer assistance in losing extra pounds. The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, utilized the drug Amlexanox to positively decrease body weight in obese mice. The results also came without increasing the exercise regimen of the mice or decreasing their caloric intake. Amelxanox is a drug found in many canker sore treatment ointments and has been widely used for over 15 years. After feeding the mice a high-calorie diet, researchers injected the mice with the drug. The mice continued to eat the same high-calorie diet, but instead of maintaining or gaining weight, the mice began to shed extra pounds. However, after the weight-loss period, mice were taken off of the drug and immediately gained the weight back. After testing several different drugs, researchers began using Amelxanox, which they found was capable of altering the genes that control metabolism. The reason for the drug’s effectiveness, it safely boosts metabolic response in the body. Many people struggle with losing weight, even if they cut calories, because the body’s metabolism will slow down to maintain current weight when cutting calories. Therefore, even if a person follows a diet plan correctly, their body may have other results in mind. The promise of Amelxanox is great. The drug may have a similar story to that of Viagra, which was created to treat chest pain, but ended up being a fantastic treatment for another common condition – erectile dysfunction. Of course, researchers plan on doing in-depth trials of Amelxanox to determine how it would effect pre-existing conditions, and adverse effects and whether a patient would have to remain on the drug for their lifetime, which may be likely as stopping the drug’s use instigates weight gain. The drug shows general promise as it has been around for nearly 2 decades without causing significant issues. Though it may be a life-long treatment course, it could potentially save many lives, while additionally cutting healthcare costs for the country. Sources: CNN - Health - http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/10/health/mice-weight-loss-drug/?hpt=he_c1 Counsel and Heal - http://www.counselheal.com/articles/3819/20130211/old-canker-sore-drug-effective-weight-loss.htm R&D Magazine - http://www.rdmag.com/news/2013/02/old-drug-may-point-way-new-treatments-diabetes-obesity

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