Common diabetes drug that reduces body fat in people with obesity

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Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults. It is also preventable and treatable.

BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can indicate high body fat. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obesity range.

In a study from the University of Liverpool, scientists found that in adults with obesity or overweight, weekly treatment with the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) receptor agonist semaglutide leads to reduced excess body fat and increased lean body mass.

The findings suggest that semaglutide, an FDA-approved diabetes drug, through bodyweight loss and improvement of body composition, may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke in people with overweight or obese.

Excess fat in the abdominal area, particularly fat in and around abdominal organs, also called visceral fat, contributes to major causes of death and disability, including heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, fatty liver disease and diabetes.

In the study, researchers tested 1,961 adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher with at least one weight-related health condition, or a BMI of 30 or higher, without diabetes.

A person is classified as overweight if their BMI is 25 to 29.9, and the range for obesity is a BMI of 30 or more.

The participants were assigned to inject themselves once weekly for 68 weeks with either 2.4 milligrams of semaglutide or a placebo.

Semaglutide, already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the lower dose of 1 mg weekly as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1).

It acts on appetite centers in the brain and in the gut and produces feelings of fullness.

As part of the study, the researchers assessed body composition, to monitor the effects of therapy on total body fat and fat around the stomach area in 140 of the participants.

They found treatment with semaglutide improved body composition by reducing excess body fat, including abdominal fat, and increasing the proportion of lean body mass, or the amount of weight someone carries that is not body fat.

The more body weight a participant lost, the greater the improvement in body composition.

The team found patients who injected semaglutide lost close to 15% of their body weight, on average, compared with 2.4% among patients receiving the placebo.

More than one-third of participants receiving semaglutide lost more than 20% of their weight. Many patients experienced improvements in risk factors for heart disease, blood sugar levels and quality of life.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about a major breakthrough in diabetes treatment, and this inflammation drug may increase your diabetes risk within days.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies that whey protein may help people control type 2 diabetes, and results showing cruciferous vegetables may help reverse kidney damage in diabetes.

The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine and conducted by John Wilding, et al.

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