New research has suggested that a drug normally used to treat diabetes could help with the weight loss efforts of those who are not even diabetic.
Lets look at this drug to see if it really could help cure obesity.
What happened in the study?
During the study, 3,731 participants of both sexes were given either the diabetes drug liraglutide or a placebo daily alongside counselling sessions to enable a change in their current lifestyle.
The volunteers were all obese with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of over 30, with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The study ran for 56 weeks and at the conclusion it was discovered that 63% of participants who took the drug saw a 5% reduction in body weight, compared to only 27% of participants in the placebo group.
The average weight loss of 8.3 kg was reported by those using liraglutide, with only a 2.9 kg loss by those who took the placebo.
How does liraglutide work?
Liraglutide is a drug made by Nono Nordisk that is used to replace the naturally occurring hormone glucagon-like peptide 1.
This hormone is normally released by your intestine and is used by your body to reduce hunger by increasing satiety.
It can also help to slow down the rate that your stomach releases food content back into the small intestine, therefore keeping you fuller for longer.
Are there any potential issues?
Although liraglutide has been approved for use back in December 2014 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this is not to say that there are no issues surrounding its use.
During the study itself, Dr Xavier Pi-Sunyer, a professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Centre noted the following side effects:
- Gallbladder problems
The cost of liraglutide is also an issue, with a months treatment costing $1,000. However it is hoped that further research will help to bring this cost down.
As it stands while its results are impressive, there is still plenty of work to do before this treatment becomes a realistic proposal for weight loss.