Diabetic drug leads to noticeable weight loss in people with obesity – study | Medical research

Weekly doses of diabetic drug appear to lead to significant weight loss in obese people, in developmental experts hailed as a game changer.

Obesity causes 1.2 million deaths in Europe each year, according to the World Health Organizationand the UK has one of the worst obesity rates.

Efforts to treat the disease have long focused on diet and exercise, but many people who lose weight find it so they recover it with time.

Now researchers say that a diabetic drug used in conjunction with such interventions can help people with obesity. Participants in a 72-week trial lost as much as 20% of their body weight.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicinean international team reports that they accidentally divided 2,539 overweight or obese participants into four equal groups.

One group was offered a self-administered placebo injection once a week for 72 weeks, while the other three groups were offered either 5mg, 10mg or 15mg of a drug called tirzepatid. All participants also received regular lifestyle counseling to help them stick to low-calorie meals and at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

On average, participants had a body weight of 104.8 kg, or 16.5 stones, with 94.5% considered obese. Most were white and female, and none had diabetes.

The results of those who joined the assigned intervention – almost 82% of the sample – reveal that at the end of the 72-week period participants who received 5 mg of tirzepatid each week lost an average of 16.1 kg, those who received 10 mg lost an average of. 22.2 kg and those receiving the 15 mg average 23.6 kg. Those who received a placebo injection lost an average of 2.4 kg.

The team adds that among those assigned the highest dose of tirzepatid, 91% of participants lost 5% or more of their body weight, compared with 35% of those assigned the placebo. Fifty-seven percent of those assigned the highest dose lost 20% or more of their body weight compared to 3% of those assigned the placebo.

“We should treat obesity the way we treat any chronic disease – with effective and safe approaches to underlying diseases – and these findings suggest that typhoid fever may be doing just that,” said Dr. Ania Jastreboff of Yale University, the lead author of the study. explored. , which was presented during the 82nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

The study comes after the National Institute of the United Kingdom for Healthy and Care Excellence (Beautiful) approved the use of another drugsemaglutide, for certain groups of people with obesity in February.

Prof Rachel Batterham, an obesity expert at University College London who was not involved in the work, said that as a swallow, tirzepatid worked by mimicking hormones in the body that help people feel full after eating and are often low in people with obesity. .

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While semaglutide mimics only one hormone, tirzepatid mimics two, perhaps explaining why the latter appears to have a greater effect.

“Weight loss is about improving one’s health. If you want to improve the really hard complications of obesity, then you need 15-20% weight loss. If you want to improve someone’s heart failure or get rid of their obstructive sleep apnea, reduce their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, then we need a much greater weight loss that we can achieve and sustain only through diet, ”Batterham said.

Tom Sanders, Professor Emeritus of Nutrition and Diet at King’s College London, said that higher doses of tirzepatid caused more weight loss, but they also caused more side effects, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. its effects. on the pancreas.

“This class of drugs only works as long as the participants adhere to the reduced calorie diet prescribed with the drug, so it’s not a magic bullet,” he said.

Dr Simon Cork, a senior lecturer in physiology at England Ruskin University, also said there were challenges.

“These drugs are changing for the field of obesity, but they will only work during the use of the drug,” he said. “Nice’s current guideline on swallowing is to take the drug for a maximum of two years, after which it will not be offered again. We know that this will most likely result in a reversal of the weight loss effects for many people. . “

Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow who was not involved in the work, said the latest findings are good news.

He said, however, that as a seed swallow, tirezpatido would be expensive for many years and its use would initially be limited.

“The emergence of these new drugs does not mean that people have to give up lifestyles because it is much better to prevent obesity in the first place than to treat it at a late stage when a lot of damage has already been done,” he said.

“Fortunately, methods to help people improve their diet are evolving as we learn what works best. But of course, improving the food environment would have the biggest impact of all, so it should remain a focus for the government.”

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