A team of experts have come up with a very interesting and exciting discovery. They have found that two commonly available allergy drugs may be able to reduce both obesity and Type 2 diabetes in animal models. This intriguing discovery was made by the experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).
Seemingly, these experts have found that the drugs, Zaditor and cromoly, may be able to lower Type 2 diabetes as well as obesity in mice models. These two common over-the-counter allergy drugs were believed to have the ability to stabilize a population of inflammatory immune cells (mast cells). This association was suspected, when in a previously conducted study mast cells were found to be present in a variety of inflammatory vascular diseases.
Mast cells are known to be those immune cells that assist in the process of healing in a wounded tissue. This assistance in the healing process is believed to be done by increasing blood flow to that particular region. However, some times these mast cells build up to a level that is higher than what is required by the body, thereby getting unstable. In due course of time these cells leak molecular “garbage” into the tissue, akin to punctured trash bags; which could further lead to chronic inflammation resulting in allergies, asthma, etc.
Guo-Ping Shi, a biochemist from the Department of Medicine, BWH and colleagues found that mast cells were much higher in quantity in obese and diabetic humans and mice, as compared to those who had a normal weight fat tissue. Thus, indicating that perhaps a regulation of these mast cells may also provide the ability to control these symptoms.
Shi explains, “We knew from published research that both cromolyn and Zaditor help stabilize mast cells in people suffering from allergy or asthma. It’s almost as if the drugs place an extra layer of plastic on the ripped trash bag. So it seemed like a logical place to begin.”
For the purpose of understanding this criterion, these experts were noted to have analyzed a group of mice that were both obese and diabetic. These mice were then evidently categorized into 4 groups; where the first group was the control group and the second was merely put on a healthy diet. The third group was treated with the above mentioned allergy medications, whereas the last group was both given the drugs and also switched to a healthy diet.
A great amount of improvement was observed in the symptoms of the 2nd group, while the 3rd group exhibited significant improvement in both their body weight as well as diabetes. On the other hand, a 100% improvement was noticed in the overall condition of the 4th group.
Seemingly, the best part is that these drugs are believed to be safe for use in human beings. However, they are still uncertain if these drugs may yield the same results in human subjects as well. A more detailed analysis is required on the topic.
These findings have been presented in Nature.