weight loss

Groundbreaking discovery shows weight loss drug may help prevent type 2 diabetes

by Barbara Hewitt on February 27, 2017

A drug already used for weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes may also help slowdown the progression of the disease and even prevent it, new research has found.

The study, described as ground breaking, involved people with prediabetes where they have not yet developed the full condition and found the drug reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 80% compared to a placebo.

Weight Loss DrugsUsing liraglutide, which increases the amount of appetite supressing hormones produced by the gut, could pave the way for a widely used, effective, and safe drug to reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes in the majority of people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the researchers from Imperial College London.

The study, led by expert Dr Carel le Roux from Imperial College’s department of medicine, involved 2,254 obese adults with prediabetes at 191 research sites in 27 countries worldwide. After splitting participants into two groups, they studied whether adding daily self-administered injections of liraglutide to diet and exercise helped to prevent progression into diabetes, compared to diet and exercise alone.

After three years, the researchers found that the patients given liraglutide were 80% less likely to develop diabetes than those in the placebo group. In 60% of those patients, prediabetes was reversed and patients returned to healthy blood sugar levels.

Of the patients who did go on to develop diabetes, those who were given liraglutide took nearly three times longer to develop the disease than those in the placebo group. In addition, liraglutide was linked to greater sustained weight loss after three years compared to placebo, with those on liraglutide losing 7% body weight compared to 2% in the placebo group.

‘These ground breaking results could pave the way for a widely used, effective, and safe drug to reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes in 80% of at risk people. This could improve the health of the population and save millions on healthcare spending,’ said le Roux.

Dr le Roux added that the drug seems to work by mimicking the action of a naturally produced hormone that supresses appetite, called GLP-1. This compound is released in response to food, and interacts with the brain’s hypothalamus to suppress appetite.

However previous studies have found that many obese people produce less of this hormone, which may lead to them over-eating. Liraglutide mimics the effects of GLP-1, essentially doing the hormone’s job to regulate appetite.

‘Liraglutide promotes weight loss by activating brain areas that control appetite and eating, so that people feel fuller sooner after meals and their food intake is reduced. Although liraglutide’s role in weight loss is well known, this is the first time it has been shown to essentially reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes, albeit with the help of diet and exercise,’ le Roux explained.

Liraglutide is already being used to manage weight and diabetes, but it is expensive and not yet widely available in the UK. However, future studies could help develop a test for GLP-1 deficiency, to ensure the drug is given only to those who would benefit. Alternatively, patients could undergo a 12 week trial where the drug is stopped if there is no improvement within that time.

{ 1 comment }

Thumbnail image for Gastric band surgery benefits type 2 diabetics who are moderately overweight

Gastric band surgery benefits type 2 diabetics who are moderately overweight

February 21, 2017 News

A long term study, the first of its kind, has found that gastric band surgery has significant benefits for moderately overweight people with type 2 diabetes. Previous studies have focused on obese people and shown that the operation has benefits for them but now a new piece of research from Monash University in Australia found […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Encouraging everyone to have a healthy weight could help combat type 2 diabetes

Encouraging everyone to have a healthy weight could help combat type 2 diabetes

February 8, 2017 News

Public health strategies that aim to prevent adult weight gain in the whole population have the potential to prevent twice as many cases of type 2 diabetes as strategies that target individuals, new research has found. Currently such programmes tend generally to target those at high risk of type 2 diabetes, such as people who […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Weight Loss Helps Obese People with Type 2 Diabetes Combat Health Problems

Weight Loss Helps Obese People with Type 2 Diabetes Combat Health Problems

January 10, 2017 Diabetes General

Even if it’s just a few pounds, losing weight can help obese people with type 2 diabetes reduce their risk of heart disease and manage their insulin levels better, new research from the Joslin Diabetes Centre in Boston, United States has found. And those who can achieve a 7% weight loss after a year are […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Drinking water rather than diet drinks helps type 2 diabetics lose more weight

Drinking water rather than diet drinks helps type 2 diabetics lose more weight

November 25, 2016 Diets

Replacing diet drinks with water helps overweight women with type 2 diabetes lose weight and improve their insulin sensitivity, new research has found. Experts in diet and metabolism at the University of Nottingham in England and Tehran University of Medical Sciences compared weight loss in two groups of women on weight loss programmes; one which […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Early weight loss surgery can maximise type 2 diabetes remission rates

Early weight loss surgery can maximise type 2 diabetes remission rates

June 6, 2016 Diets

Obese people who develop early onset type 2 diabetes may maximise their chances of remission with surgery to reduce their weight, new research has found. Prompt action leads to significantly greater weight loss and higher rates of remission, according to the work done by a team at the Min-Sheng General Hospital in Taiwan. This discovery […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for New long acting insulin injection improves glucose control and aids weight loss

New long acting insulin injection improves glucose control and aids weight loss

March 16, 2016 News

A multinational clinical trial has found that injection of a new long acting insulin combined with another drug improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. The trial, led by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in the United States also found that is assists with weight loss. The trial compared glucose control […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Just 5% weight loss helps reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in overweight people

Just 5% weight loss helps reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in overweight people

February 25, 2016 Diets

A relatively small amount of weight loss markedly lowers an overweight person’s risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, new research has found. Indeed, a weight loss of just 5% of body weight is sufficient to produce the greatest health benefit, according to the study conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Research looks at making exercise programmes more efficient in combating type 2 diabetes

Research looks at making exercise programmes more efficient in combating type 2 diabetes

December 22, 2015 News

New research in the United States focussed on a protein called Calmodulin Kinase Kinase is looking into how exercise can reduce the onset of type 2 diabetes. Learning how exercise increases glucose absorption into muscle cells is an important first step towards new pharmaceutical treatments for type 2 diabetes that could yield similar benefits as […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for UK scientists announce breakthrough weight loss treatment for type 2 diabetes

UK scientists announce breakthrough weight loss treatment for type 2 diabetes

August 24, 2015 Diabetes Research Polls

A daily dose of a diabetes drug could help combat obesity in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a study scientists are calling a breakthrough in weight loss management. The results of the international study involving nine countries are significant, according to Melanie Davies, professor of Diabetes Medicine at the Leicester Research Centre, University […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Research Reveals How Sleep Loss Increases Weight and Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Research Reveals How Sleep Loss Increases Weight and Type 2 Diabetes Risk

March 19, 2015 Diabetes General

Losing just 30 minutes of sleep in a 24 hour period on weekdays could have a significant effect on obesity and insulin resistance, new research suggests. While previous studies have shown that short sleep duration is associated with obesity and diabetes, the research from the University of Bristol and the Weill Cornell Medical College in […]

Read the full article →