- A study sponsored by the company indicated that the drug semaglutide used to treat type 2 diabetes may be effective for weight loss.
- Researchers say that semaglutide reduces appetite and energy intake.
- Another similar drug, liraglutide, was approved by federal regulators 3 years ago as a treatment for weight loss.
Drugs semaglutide is used to treat type 2 diabetes by regulating how the pancreas releases insulin.
However, the drug, sold under the brand names Ozempic and Rybelsus, may also have potential to aid weight control, as it appears to reduce appetite, cravings for food, and energy intake.
Novo Nordisk is seeking approval of semaglutide for the treatment of obesity in the United States and Europe. A phase 3 clinical trial for an oral drug semaglutide for the treatment of obesity has been completed. announcement in April 2021.
Semaglutide belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. In the new study, a research team led by Dr Dorthe Skovgaard, senior international medical director of Novo Nordisk, studied how the drug affected gastric emptying, energy intake, appetite, and diet control in study subjects with obesity.
“GLP-1s are known to affect body weight by decreasing energy intake, increasing feelings of fullness and fullness, and decreasing hunger,” Skovgaard told Healthline. “Thus, the mechanism of action of semaglutide had great potential for the treatment of obesity. Additionally, several clinical trials with people with type 2 diabetes have demonstrated the weight loss benefits of semaglutide. “
The study, published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, reported that although semaglutide did not appear to delay gastric emptying, energy intake in those receiving the drug was reduced by 35% compared to those receiving an placebo.
Study subjects also reported feeling less hungry and less interested in eating, as well as feeling fuller and fuller after eating.
Weight loss of 15 to 18 percent was reported in the study group taking semaglutide. Greater weight loss has been reported in obese and overweight people.
“In obese subjects, semaglutide [administered at a dose of 2.4 mg weekly, compared to 1 mg for treatment of diabetes] suppressed appetite and reduced frequency and strength of cravings, ”the study concluded. “Controlling appetite and reducing the frequency and strength of food cravings are important for weight management in people with obesity, especially in a society that encourages unhealthy lifestyles and overeating. “
Skovgaard noted that liraglutide, another GLP-1 drug, has also been shown to affect weight by reducing energy intake and increasing feelings of fullness and fullness as well as decreasing hunger.
Marketed under the name Saxenda, liraglutide is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight management.
“However, the reduction in energy intake and weight loss seen with semaglutide is greater than with liraglutide,” Skovgaard noted.
Dr Kim Boyd, the chief physician of the Calibrate Weight Health Program, told Healthline that the research on semaglutide is “very exciting.”
“Clinical studies have shown that this new dosage results in an average weight loss of 15% (and over 20% in a third of participants) that is sustained for over a year,” Boyd said. “This is more effective than any other FDA approved weight loss drug on the market. “
“Since other diabetes medications may be associated with weight gain, the fact that GLP-1 [agonists] helping people lose weight is actually good medicine for many people with both diabetes and obesity, ”said Dr Florencia Halperin, the chief medical officer of the FormHealth weight loss program. “One fascinating aspect of this is that the effect on improving diabetes is related to how the drug interacts with the pancreas (which secretes insulin) and other body tissues that regulate blood sugar. But weight loss is linked to how drugs affect the networks in our brains that regulate hunger and fullness.
“Semaglutide works as a treatment for obesity because it helps people feel less hungry,” Halperin told Healthline. “My patients who use this drug report that they are less interested in food and can feel full with much smaller portions. Thus, they eat less but are not hungry and do not feel deprived, as they might have when they deliberately limited calories.
Drugs such as semaglutide may help some obese people, but others can lose weight by changing their diet and other lifestyle habits, experts say.
“Pills are a short term solution to weight loss”, Morgan nolte, DPT, clinical specialist in geriatric physiotherapy and owner of Weight Loss for Health, told Healthline. “The best long-term weight loss solution is to learn to adopt an insulin-poor lifestyle. It requires a change of mindset and strategy. A lifestyle low in insulin not only facilitates long-term weight loss, but also helps reduce insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and arthritis. .