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Posted on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

U-M researchers: Canker sore drug could be used for weight loss

By Amy Biolchini

Editor's note: The photo credit has been corrected.

The next weight-loss drug could be one already familiar to those with asthma and canker sores, according to researchers at the University of Michigan.

Obese mice treated with the drug Amlexanox lost weight and reversed metabolic problems such as diabetes and fatty livers.


The mouse on the right was fed a high-fat diet. The mouse on the left was fed the same high-fat diet, as well as amlexanox.

Courtesy of the U-M Life Sciences Institute

Amlexanox is an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat recurrent ulcers and several inflammatory conditions.

Research conducted by Dr. Alan Saltiel, director of the Life Sciences Institute at U-M, found the drug inhibits two genes that play a role in metabolism and fat-burning in mice.

Dr. Elif Oral, associate professor of internal medicine and medical director of U-M Health System's Bariatric Surgery Program, is seeking individuals who are obese or have Type 2 diabetes for a new study to test the drug's effects on humans.

Individuals can be on oral diabetes medication and should have a body mass index between 27 and 36. Only 10 people are needed for this stage of the clinical trial.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


An Arborigine

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

Four out of five mice in the study group reported increased self-esteem and and noted more "admiring glances" from other rodents.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:12 a.m.

Animal abuse.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:08 a.m.

You could try eliminating inflammatory foods like grains, soy, seed oils and refined sugar in favor of healthy fats, pastured meats and eggs, and organic veggies. That won't sell drugs nor industrial food-like products though.

E Claire

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

Love how you get voted down for suggesting people actually take some responsibility.


Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 11:14 p.m.

Individuals who volunteer also have to have advanced liver disease and may have to have liver biopsies. Just a few significant details.....


Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

I didn't even know there were drugs for canker sores...I get them all the time and I thought it was just something I have to live with...interesting...


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

Put alum on the canker sore. Keep it there as long as you can stand the pain, and then take some water and wash your mouth with it. Don't swallow it. You canker sore will be gone the next day.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

LAEL after almost a lifetime of mouth pain I discovered my allergy to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate was the problem. I now use toothpastes that don't contain it. It is also used in other body products and is listed on the labels.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Before trying a drug, try using a toothpaste that does not have any SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) in it and see if that doesn't help clear up your canker sores after a few weeks. Sensodyne has some good sls-free versions. (Many major brands these days have an sls-free toothpaste.)

Ann English

Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

You could ask your dentist for some other canker sore drugs than amlexonox; I never heard of this drug from the UM Dental School, but of some over-the-counter ones. I imagine you have told your doctor you get them; when I first got one, a doctor I had at that time diagnosed it, but didn't tell me of any canker sore drugs. Just saltwater rinsing.