Diabetes drug may help obese, overweight adults lose weight

New York, April 5 (IANS) An injectable drug widely used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes along with controlled diet and proper exercise plan is likely to lead to major health improvements, suggests a new research.

Adding 3.0 mg of liraglutide for three years to a controlled diet may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic risk factors — chances of having diabetes, heart disease or stroke.

Overall, 66 percent of the study participants taking liraglutide displayed a normal concentration of sugar in the blood, compared with 36 percent of those on placebo.

The results showed that blood glucose levels of the group that underwent liraglutide prescription dropped to normal and their waist circumference was found to be smaller.

Further, there was a significant decrease found in their cardiometabolic risk factors, including systolic blood pressure and some fasting lipids and cardiovascular biomarkers.

“Treatment with liraglutide 3.0 mg for three years, combined with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, can help people to not only lose weight, but also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes,” said lead study author Ken Fujioka, director of nutrition and metabolic research Scripps Research Institute in California, US.

Over a three-year period, the researchers studied 2,254 overweight and obese adults whose average age was around 48 years and who also had either high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or both.

They randomly assigned 1,505 participants to treatment with liraglutide 3.0 mg and 749 participants to treatment with placebo.
All patients were put on a 500-calorie-per-day diet and a 150-minute-per-week physical activity program, and they were given counselling.

After three years, those taking liraglutide lost weight and lowered their risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The results were presented at the ENDO 2016, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston, US.

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