Study finds new diabetes drug could help with weight loss

weightlosssacales-1WThe study found that the drug, liraglutide, can help reduce body weight when used at a higher dose than administered to treat diabetes

Research by University of Liverpool scientists has found that the diabetes drug, liraglutide, can help obese or overweight people who don’t have diabetes to lose weight.

The researchers found that participants who took the drug  before breakfast each day lost an average of 19lb over 12 months, with a third of women shed 23lb – more than a stone and a half.

Significantly greater weight loss

After 56 weeks those participants who had been given a daily injection of liraglutide, in combination with diet and exercise, provided significantly greater weight loss of 8% compared to 2.6% in those who didn’t take the drug.

The researchers found that the drug tricks the brain into feeling full, also lowers blood pressure, raises ‘good cholesterol’ and staves off diabetes.

”These results suggest liraglutide is effective and overall well-tolerated for obesity treatment”
The study involved nearly 4,000 participants from 191 sites in 27 countries who were divided into two groups; those who were given a 3mg daily dose of liraglutide and a control group who weren’t.

Both groups followed a diet containing 500 calories less than the recommended daily amount and increased physical activity (with participants advised to complete the recommended 5 sessions of 30 minutes of brisk walking five times per week).

The researchers noted some side effects, mainly nausea and diarrhea, which were mostly mild or moderate and transient. They also noted that gallbladder disorders and pancreatitis were around three times more common with liraglutide however incidence rates were low.

Reduce body weight

Professor John Wilding, from the University’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease who led the research, said: “Our study found that liraglutide, an injection treatment already approved for diabetes treatment, can help reduce body weight in people with obesity when used at a higher dose than is usually used in diabetes.  These results suggest liraglutide is effective and overall well-tolerated for obesity treatment.”

The research was presented at European Congress on Obesity 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria and the study was funded by Novo Nordisk.


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