Skip to comments.'Game-Changer' Drug Promotes Weight Loss Like No Medicine Ever Seen, Scientists Say
Posted on 02/11/2021 11:05:40 AM PST by Red Badger
In the simplest terms, obesity is the product of a body's energy output being less than its energy input. But in reality, there's nothing simple about this complex and mysterious disease.
Obesity, which has skyrocketed in recent decades – now defining the body mass of over 40 percent of adult Americans – isn't just difficult for people to endure and scientists to understand. It's also incredibly hard to treat.
Beyond commitment to sustained lifestyle changes – healthy eating and exercise, effectively – there are really only two potential options that may help: bariatric surgery and weight-loss medications.
The former is invasive and carries various risks and complications. As for the drugs, they don't always work, and can have their own adverse effects too.
However, an experimental treatment recently trialled by scientists and detailed in a study published this week could open new doors for treating obesity patients with a weight-loss drug.
In the study, which involved almost 2,000 obese adults across 16 different countries, participants took a weekly dose of a drug called semaglutide, an existing medication already used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
A control group took only a placebo, in place of the medication. Both groups received a lifestyle intervention course designed to promote weight loss.
At the end of the trial, the participants who took the placebo lost a small but clinically insignificant amount of weight. But for those who took semaglutide, the effects were pronounced.
After 68 weeks of treatment with the drug – which suppresses appetite due to a variety of effects on the brain – participants taking semaglutide lost on average 14.9 percent of their body weight. And over 30 percent of the group lost more than 20 percent of their body weight.
Broadly speaking, this makes the drug up to twice as effective as existing medications for weight loss, the researchers say, approaching the kind of efficacy of surgical interventions.
"No other drug has come close to producing this level of weight loss – this really is a game-changer," says obesity researcher Rachel Batterham from University College London.
"For the first time, people can achieve through drugs what was only possible through weight-loss surgery."
In addition to losing weight, participants registered improvements in other areas, showing reductions in various cardiometabolic risk factors, and reporting quality of life improvements.
While the results are compelling, semaglutide dosage for anti-obesity effects does come with some drawbacks.
Mild-to-moderate effects were reported by many participants (in both the semaglutide and placebo groups), including nausea and diarrhoea. While the effects were temporary, they were enough for nearly 60 of participants to discontinue their treatment, compared with just five in the placebo group.
At present, the drug requires a weekly injection to work – whereas an oral form of the medicine would likely be preferred by patients.
More significantly, we don't yet have data on what happened to the participants after the drug regimen ceased at the end of the trial.
For at least one individual, however, who spoke to The New York Times, her weight began to creep up after the trial was over.
"While drugs like this may prove useful in the short term for obtaining rapid weight loss in severe obesity, they are not a magic bullet for preventing or treating less severe degrees of obesity," says nutritionist Tom Sanders, an emeritus professor at King's College London, who wasn't involved with the study.
"Public health measures that encourage behavioural changes such as regular physical activity and moderating dietary energy intake are still needed."
Nobody would deny the wisdom of that, but if further analysis of semaglutide turns out to be positive, we could also be looking at an important new pharmaceutical option to help combat obesity.
And that option might arrive sooner than we think.
The study, funded by pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk – which sells semaglutide as an anti-diabetic medication – is now being tendered as evidence to international health regulatory authorities, in support of an application to market the drug as an obesity treatment.
The US FDA, along with its counterparts in the UK and Europe, is currently assessing the data.
The findings are reported in The New England Journal of Medicine.
I’m a life coach.
Since I started taking Victoza rather than Lantus my weight has dropped 77 pounds. That’s far more than 14%.
“For the first time, people can achieve through drugs what was only possible through weight-loss surgery.”
Many people lose weight without weight-loss surgery. In fact, that is the overwhelming way people lose weight — by not putting it in in the first place. Furthermore, it is noted that carbohydrates particularly leads to obesity — as well as the diabetic process of insulin resistance triggered by the consumption of carbohydrates.
However, the dietary advice given is to consume as many carbohydrates as possible — as often as possible. Maybe that has something to do with the epidemic of obesity — making people particularly susceptible to all kinds of further infections and diseases?
You mileage may vary..................
Best current way to lose weight is to purchase all your groceries and other eats using those $1400 checks from dear leader Premier Harris-Biden...
Game changer. That and keto. If I could have my 30 years back of struggle, things would have been so much better and a hell of lot happier.
Great, that gives him a heart attack with a boner. Hope the mortician isn't into necrophilia.
“No matter what (kooky) medical procedure”
Used by mainstream medicine as a cure for c diff
“ it is impossible for someone to gain weight while burning more calories than they consume.”
You assume every calorie is treated identically by the body, regardless of type/source
You assume gut bacteria composition is identical in all humans
Neither is a valid assumption and each affects weight.
There are some products out there that that can help. They are diabetic friendly, keto friendly snacks that if you are in a pinch and need something sweet, they won’t spike your blood sugar which can trigger more cravings.
I agree, about working out. That has been a life saving for me, mentally and physically.
Not quiet that simple, but very close. I went on a diet of 1400 calories per day and swimming for a half hour every morning. Because of my size at the time I was burning over 600 calories in my morning swim. I lost 20lbs and the weight loss stopped dead. Three weeks of sitting on almost exactly the same weight was beyond frustrating and started making Pizza look like a good idea again.
Research brought me to a surprising conclusion: I wasn't eating enough. I increased my calorie intake to 2000 a day and the weight started dropping off again. I lost 65lbs overall and I'm maintaining it now. As soon as it warms up I plan to lose another 20 and keep it at 190.
Or like we did in the seventies take speed. 😏
I never knew the human body can create mass from nothing. Interesting.
You’ve reduce this to a two dimensional machine.
I’ve attempted to show you it is more complex.
One can only assume that creating/destroying matter is complex. I thought it could only change forms. Who knew?
Good question every man wonders about have stinger no worky.
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