ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta states that a healthy diet and physical activity are integral to a successful weight loss program.

“Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a ‘diet’ or ‘program,'” the CDC’s official website notes. “It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.”

While the advice offered by the CDC is widely accepted in most medical circles, researchers at the  University of Michigan may have found an alternative solution – in canker sore medication.

Science Blog is reporting that a drug called amlexanox could not only help the obese lose weight, but could also help patients manage diabetes.

The researchers, who were based out of the University’s Life Sciences Institute, were met with success when testing the theory on lab mice.

“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,” Alan Saltiel, the Mary Sue Coleman director of the Life Sciences Institute, was quoted as saying by the blog. “Amlexanox seems to tweak the metabolic response to excessive calorie storage in mice.”

The medicine, which has been available in Japan for over 25 years, is said to also be useful in treating asthma. But while it has previously been used by humans for other ailments, researchers will now investigate the possibilities of the drug in regards to helping people lose weight.

“Amlexanox appears to work in mice by inhibiting two genes … that we think together act as a sort of brake on metabolism,” Saltiel said. “By releasing the brake, amlexanox seems to free the metabolic system to burn more, and possibly store less, energy.”

The study is set to be published Feb. 10 in the journal Nature Medicine, Science Blog learned.


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