A simple once-a-day injection, which is already used to treat diabetics, shows promise to fight the global obesity crisis, a new study has suggested.
In trials of the drug, the patients had shed at least half a stone (7lb). One apparently lost up to four stone after taking the treatment.
The hormone, called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), is secreted from the intestine when we eat and is the body’s natural way of suppressing appetite, the Daily Express reported.
“These new injections really have the potential for revolutionising treatment. Safety-wise they are pretty good,” Dr David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said.
“I am using them on my patients and have had a lot of success. For some they have been dramatically successful, with one losing about four stone and having blood sugar under control for the first time ever.”
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark evaluated the results of 25 trials involving over 6,000 patients to assess the effect of GLP-1 on weight loss, blood pressure, cholesterol and liver enzyme levels, as well as blood sugar control.
They found that patients given a daily dose for at least 20 weeks attained weight loss of half a stone.
Though, common side-effects included nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea but researchers asserted that it did not appear to affect the numbers dropping out of the trials, implying that overall patient satisfaction with the treatment is relatively high.
“Our analysis provides convincing evidence that GLP-1 chemicals, when given to obese patients with or without diabetes, result in clinically relevant beneficial effects on body weight,” Professor Tina Vilsboll, who led the research said.
“Additional beneficial effects on blood pressure and total cholesterol might also be achieved,” Vilsboll added.