In what the authors call a "game changer" in weight-loss therapies, a major global study shows how an obesity drug can significantly cut body weight for many who take it.
Originally developed for the treatment of diabetes, the drug in question works by taking control of the appetite regulation system, with a third of the study recipients experiencing weight reduction of more than 20% with weekly injections and conventional reduction programs. of weight.
The drug, called Semaglutide, is a clinically approved treatment for type 2 diabetes and mimics the chemical structure of a naturally occurring hormone called GLP-1. The weight reduction results from the reduction of the feeling of hunger that starts from the brain region of the hypothalamus.
A 2017 study on the potential of semaglutide as a weight loss drug brought very promising results, with 28 clinically obese subjects showing a decrease in appetite and an average weight reduction of 5 kg (11 lbs) in 12 weeks.
These investigations have now moved on to a phase III study, which involved nearly 2.000 overweight or obese adults from 129 locations in 16 different countries. Over a 68-week period, the subjects were injected weekly with semaglutide or a placebo and entered into weight reduction programs that included low-calorie diets, more physical activity, and consultations with dieticians.
Among those who received a placebo, the mean weight reduction across the study was 2,6 kg (5,7 lbs), resulting in a reduction in body mass index (BMI) of 0,92. In the semaglutide group, the mean weight reduction was 15,3 kg (33,7 lbs) and the mean reduction in BMI was 5,54. This group also showed reduced risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, including blood sugar, blood pressure, and waist circumference.
Some people have experienced side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. The researchers describe them as "transient" and say they were generally resolved without removing those subjects from the study.
Semaglutide holds great promise for weight loss
"The results of this study represent an important step forward in improving the health of people with obesity." To say it is Rachel Batterham from University College London, lead author of the article.
Three quarters of the people who received semaglutide achieved weight loss of more than 10%. Over a third achieved weight loss greater than 20%. No other drug has come close to producing this level of weight reduction - this is truly a game changer. For the first time, people can achieve through drugs what was only possible through weight loss surgery.Rachel Batterham, University College London
The results saw semaglutide presented to health authorities in Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom. The goal of approval as a treatment for weight reduction and obesity.
This is a significant advance in the treatment of obesity
"This is a significant advance in the treatment of obesity," says the professor John Wilding of the University of Liverpool. “Semaglutide is already approved and used clinically at a lower dose for the treatment of diabetes, we already know its use. For me it is nice to see it translated into an effective weight reduction treatment for people with obesity “.