Research Article

Can Spirulina maxima reduce the mutagenic potential of sibutramine?

Published: December 28, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 18452-18464 DOI: 10.4238/2015.December.23.33

Abstract

The worldwide obesity pandemic requires the use of anti-obesity drugs. Sibutramine is an anti-obesity drug that has been used worldwide but is indiscriminately consumed in Brazil. Several studies have demonstrated that sibutramine promotes weight loss and weight maintenance, but several side effects have been associated with its systematic consumption. For this reason, sibutramine was withdrawn from the European and American markets, but still remains legal for use in Brazil. Studies have shown that a 5-10% reduction in body weight results in outstanding health benefits for obese patients. However, in order to promote significant weight loss, it is necessary to use sibutramine for at least 2 years. This long-term exposure has carcinogenic potential, as sibutramine causes DNA damage. Thus, this study evaluated the in vivo mutagenic potential of sibutramine alone (5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 mg/kg) and in association with Spirulina maxima (150 and 300 mg/kg), a cyanobacterium with antioxidant potential, using the polychromatic erythrocyte micronucleus test. Our results reinforced the mutagenic potential of sibutramine alone, which showed a time-dependent action. Combinatory treatments with S. maxima were not able to reduce the genotoxicity of sibutramine. These results were confirmed in vitro with the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus test. In conclusion, our data showed that new alternative anti-obesity treatments are needed since the consumption of sibutramine can increase the risk of cancer in overweight patients.

The worldwide obesity pandemic requires the use of anti-obesity drugs. Sibutramine is an anti-obesity drug that has been used worldwide but is indiscriminately consumed in Brazil. Several studies have demonstrated that sibutramine promotes weight loss and weight maintenance, but several side effects have been associated with its systematic consumption. For this reason, sibutramine was withdrawn from the European and American markets, but still remains legal for use in Brazil. Studies have shown that a 5-10% reduction in body weight results in outstanding health benefits for obese patients. However, in order to promote significant weight loss, it is necessary to use sibutramine for at least 2 years. This long-term exposure has carcinogenic potential, as sibutramine causes DNA damage. Thus, this study evaluated the in vivo mutagenic potential of sibutramine alone (5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 mg/kg) and in association with Spirulina maxima (150 and 300 mg/kg), a cyanobacterium with antioxidant potential, using the polychromatic erythrocyte micronucleus test. Our results reinforced the mutagenic potential of sibutramine alone, which showed a time-dependent action. Combinatory treatments with S. maxima were not able to reduce the genotoxicity of sibutramine. These results were confirmed in vitro with the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus test. In conclusion, our data showed that new alternative anti-obesity treatments are needed since the consumption of sibutramine can increase the risk of cancer in overweight patients.