Gut hormone leads to weight loss in overweight or obese patients

January 10, 2012

Giving overweight or obese patients a gut hormone that suppresses appetite leads to clinically beneficial weight loss as well as reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a hormone that is secreted from the intestine when we eat. GLP-1 based therapy was recently introduced as a new treatment for patients with because of its ability to regulate .

But it also suppresses food intake and appetite, making it an interesting approach in the treatment of obesity.

So researchers at the University of Copenhagen set out to determine the effect of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) on weight loss. They also looked at their effect on blood pressure, cholesterol and liver enzyme levels, and blood sugar (glycaemic) control.

They analysed the results of 25 involving over 6,000 patients. Differences in study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias.

They found that patients who received clinically relevant doses of GLP-1R agonists for at least 20 weeks achieved a greater weight loss compared with the control groups.

The benefit was seen for patients with and without type 2 diabetes, but may be more pronounced in patients without diabetes.

GLP-1R agonists also had beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol and improved glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. There was no statistically significant effect on .

Common side effects included nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, but did not seem to affect the number of patients dropping out of the trials, suggesting that overall with the treatment is relatively high.

The authors say that their analysis "provides convincing evidence that GLP-1R agonists, when given to obese patients with or without diabetes, result in clinically relevant beneficial effects on body weight. Additional beneficial effects on blood pressure and total cholesterol might also be achieved."

They believe that the intervention "should be considered in patients with diabetes who are obese or overweight" and call for further studies "to elucidate the effects of GLP-1R agonists in the treatment of obese patients without diabetes."

While these results highlight the weight-reducing benefits of GLP-1 agonists, they should not alter current practice, says Professor Raj Padwal from the University of Alberta in an accompanying editorial. He argues that "modification of diet and lifestyle remains the cornerstone of the treatment of type 2 diabetes."

He also points out that the safety of GLP-1 agonists is still unknown and says "continued and close surveillance of these new agents using all available data sources is warranted."

Explore further: Research reveals hormone action that could lead to treatments for type 2 diabetes

Related Stories

Research reveals hormone action that could lead to treatments for type 2 diabetes

September 30, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have discovered that the immediate improvement in blood sugar (blood glucose) for those with type 2 diabetes who undergo gastric bypass surgery is related to ...

Improving psoriasis with GLP-1 analogue therapy

December 13, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- UCD clinician scientists and researchers from NUI Maynooth and Trinity College led by Conway Fellow, Professor Donal O’Shea have reported an improvement in the severity of psoriasis in patients following ...

Scientists reassess weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetes

January 4, 2012
Weight loss surgery is not a cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can improve blood sugar control, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Surgery. Whereas some previous studies have claimed that up to 80 ...

Recommended for you

Link between obesity and cancer is not widely recognized

November 17, 2017
A new study published in the Journal of Public Health has shown that the majority of people in the United Kingdom do not understand the connection between weight issues and cancer. Obesity is associated with thirteen types ...

Reversing negative effects of maternal obesity

November 8, 2017
A drug that increases energy metabolism may lead to a new approach to prevent obesity in children born to overweight mothers, UNSW Sydney researchers have found.

Serving water with school lunches could prevent child, adult obesity: study

November 7, 2017
Encouraging children to drink plain water with their school lunches could prevent more than half a million youths in the U.S. from becoming overweight or obese, and trim the medical costs and indirect societal costs associated ...

Why do some obese people have 'healthier' fat tissue than others?

November 1, 2017
One little understood paradox in the study of obesity is that overweight people who break down fat at a high rate are less healthy than peers who store their fat more effectively.

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults now obese (Update)

October 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Almost forty percent adults in the United States are now obese, continuing an ever-expanding epidemic of obesity that's expected to lead to sicker Americans and higher health care costs.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Hospital Management
not rated yet Jan 10, 2012
If there is Overweight problem due to medical complications then how to loss weight..

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.