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Diabetic drug helps overweight non-diabetics lose excessive body fat

Liraglutide has been found effective for obesity treatment.
Liraglutide has been found effective for obesity treatment.
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Recent studies led by Dr. John Wilding , chief of the University if Liverpools’ Department of Obesity and Endoctinology have shown that Liraglutide (Victoza), a drug often used to treat diabetes may aid non-diabetics who are obese lose as much as 8% of their body weight when administered in higher doses than normal prescribed to control the disease. In fact, he stated that prediabetic test subjects given 3 mg of Victoza (as opposed to regular doses of 1.2 milligram and 1.8 milligram given to full-blown Type 2 diabetics) also saw their cholesterol and blood pressure levels significantly reduced.

To conduct their study, Dr. Wilding and his team kept approximately 3,700 randomly chosen overweight individuals (average age 45), on reduced diets of “500 calories less than they normally consumed, and required each of them to walk briskly for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week in order to increase they activity level. However, only some of the participants received daily doses of 3 mg Victoza, with the rest injected with a placebo.

In the end, the researchers found that almost 2/3 of those taking the drug dropped 5% or more of their body weight, with the remaining 1/3 showing a loss of 10%+. In the meantime, 27% of the placebo group lost about 5% of their body weight, while 1-10 in dropped 10% or more.
As a result, Novo Nordisk, which manufacturers Liraglutide/Victoza, and funded the study, has applied to the FDA to approve Victoza for weight loss.

While a small percentage of those using Victoza experienced gallbladder problems and pancreatitis, the most common side effects were mild diarrhea and nausea.

It should also be noted that Dr Wilding has worked as a consultant to Novo Nordisk.

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