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’ve tried pushing the “model” diet on FReepers for years.
Cocaine, Marlboro Lights, and Tab.
If you suffer obesity or low energy, this is the most important video for you to watch and study:
Dr. Chris Knobbe: Diseases of Civilization
I experienced low energy early last year and radically started reading food labels and making changes. I needed to avoid all forms of vegetable and seed oils and I found it in most everything from breads to jarred condiments. I started using all the things we were told not to use such as butters, lard, beef tallow, and was told not to count calories. Came to find out via Dr. Knobbe that the oils high in Omega-6 interfered with the mitochondria in our cells which drives down our energy levels. Eating all these distilled vegetable oils is like throwing sand in our cell’s carburetor (mitochondria). After one year, my energy level is twice what it was and my mental focus and clarity has greatly improved.
But there’s a learning curve to know which foods to buy and to learn how to make meals from scratch. It’s worth it.
I don’t count calories, don’t count carbs, none of that. Just watch my oils.
Watch Chris Knobbe’s presentation and start by making some pancakes using only butter oils in the batter, enjoy your food.
I do watch my sugars though. Monk fruit powder is amazing.
I see my internist in about a week. I’m going to ask.
I eat healthy and exercise (diet and exercise regimen approved by all my various doctors [I have a bunch], and I’m rather strict), but as a result of medication I must take, my blood glucose always runs high (because it’s medication-induced, and is under good control, I don’t get the label “pre-diabetic” or “diabetic”), and I carry some extra weight.
Five years ago, my doctors predicted that as a result of my medical treatment, I’d gain a bunch of weight and become diabetic, but as a result of my efforts, it hasn’t happened. But this medication, added to all the others could possibly lower my weight to closer to “healthy” and my blood glucose to normal.
At least for folks like me, this could have real value.
And maybe I could go back to having a glass of wine with my dinner a couple of times a week. ;-)
Discipline is a virtue, but discipline applied to the wrong kind of problem can be harmful and an expression of stubbornness and even fanaticism. And most health issues are a complex mix of genetics, luck, and personal choices. The essential role for disciple may then be to go to the doctor, follow instructions, and take you medicine. For the aged and ill, a crash diet and an exercise binge to address obesity can be hard to apply and problematic in results. The best results come from providing competent, individualized medical advice and care.
I learned I was prediabetic with fatty liver three years ago. I had the CAC test a year ago, score was 6. I’ve been taking Koncentrated K and D3 for two years. I’ve read it can reverse calcium deposits. I wish I new what my score was three years ago.
Supplement with vitamin K-2 to remove Calcium from soft tissue and direct it to bone and teeth?
cute but there is a lot more to it than that.
some of the foods we eat create a big problem with fat storage and burning proteins.
Carb, high fructose corn syrup, and other manufactured oils are all problematic.
even children with all of the energy they have are becoming obese, and not just because of video games. TV and video games have been around for a long time. We are seeing something much worse. thank you Con Agra
Actually, what you write is true FOR MOST. For some, you cannot lose. It has to do with hormones. I am on hormone treatments to lower my T. Since I started 4 years ago, I cannot lose an ounce. I was sick for 20+ days recently and only drank electrolytes and ate a can of soup a day. I lost exactly -0-. Before this, my weight fluctuated by the seasons. Winter I gained, with increased activity in the spring it came off. I still ride my bike for an hour a day, but when your system is whacked it can make you skinny for some, and fat for others depending.
This drug is sold as Ozempic for type 2 diabetes. It’s a weekly subcutaneous shot that I stick in my leg. I have lost weight steadily since I started taking it, without really trying to. I got alarmed at the weight loss and asked my doctor what was causing it - was afraid I had cancer or something. He assured me that this is normal for Ozempic, especially when used with Jardiance. Last visit he told me that Ozempic was going to be sold as a weight loss drug, in higher doses than I use.
Well I can state that it works for me, with no side effects that I am aware of. May have to change my screen name eventually.
He's definitely not a fan of industrial seed oils, but covers much more, including the concept of "food reward". To top it off, he is a Seattle resident!
Actually not true and if you read the article instead of pontificating you might have learned something
Metformin was a game changer for my Dad who has mild diabetes. He’s in his 90’s now. My mom wasn’t prescribed it although her blood work was worse. She died before she was 70.
Weight loss is simple math. If you take in more calories than you burn you will gain weight. If you take in less calories than you burn, you will lose weight.
Simplified: Eat less and get your butt off the couch!
This can cause effects such as eating less and gaining fat, as well as exercising more and gaining fat, or fatigue such as increased exercise while dieting becomes less practical.
Application can be complex.
I find it interesting that you claim that I need to read the article (which I did) and what I posted was, “not true.” Please explain the difference between what I posted at #6 and the first sentence of the article?
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.
Weight loss is simple math. If you take in more calories than you burn you will gain weight. If you take in less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Simplified: Eat less and get your butt off the couch!
The first sentence of the article is belied by the second sentence of the article and then the rest of the article.
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