Obese Mice Fed Alcohol Addiction Therapy Shed Weight and Show Improved Metabolic Function

May 26, 2020 | Biotechnology

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Freshly curated from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN), check out this interesting article covering Biotech:

A study in mice has found that off-label use of the drug disulfiram (DSF) – more commonly known as Antabuse – which has been used for fifty years to treat chronic alcohol addiction, consistently normalized body weight and reversed metabolic damage in obese middle-aged mice of both sexes. The international research team, headed by Michel Bernier, PhD, and Rafael de Cabo, PhD, at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), say their results suggest that the drug could potentially be repurposed to treat obesity and related metabolic comorbidities in humans. Reporting their findings in Cell Metabolism, they concluded, “Overall, our results indicate that DSF normalizes body weight both prophylactically and therapeutically while reversing metabolic abnormalities commonly associated with diet-induced obesity … Given the potent anti-obesogenic effects in rodents, repurposing disulfiram in the clinic could represent a new strategy to treat obesity and its metabolic comorbidities.” Their published paper is titled, “Disulfiram Treatment Normalizes Body Weight in Obese Mice.”

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in developed countries and represents a major public health challenge, the authors wrote, and many obese individuals can’t achieve consistent weight loss through changing their diet and lifestyle. “For many individuals with obesity, behavioral and lifestyle modifications are insufficient for long-term weight-loss maintenance and, therefore, depend on surgical procedures and/or pharmacological interventions that alter either appetite or absorption of calories.” While there are a number of FDA-approved weight-loss medications, the authors continued, “… battling obesity requires long-term use of safe and effective drugs, and ideally ones that can alleviate its comorbidities, such as improving systemic... Read more at the GEN Blog.

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