A class of drugs taken to treat type 2 diabetes could also help patients to keep their weight down, according to a new study. The research, by scientists in Denmark, found that newer diabetes medicines such as exenatide ( Byetta, Bydureon ) could also reduce a patient’s weight.
The benefits come from both weight loss and a reduction in cholesterol often being side effects of this type of drugs, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1), and which suppress appetite, so could be useful in the treatment of obesity.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, carried out a meta-analysis on the data from 25 different studies with over 6,000 patients. The patients that took GLP-1R agonists for at least 20 weeks were seen to lose more weight than those not taking the drugs, with weight loss being experienced by both diabetics and non-diabetics.
As lead researcher Tina Vilsboll, from the Gentofte Hospital of the University of Copenhage, pointed out “If you use this treatment for 20 weeks, you have a positive effect on body weight. The hope is that we have a new class of treatment for obesity, and not just for type 2 diabetes.”
However, the researchers admit that more study is needed, and that GLP-1 drugs are not recommended only as a standalone treatment for weight loss.

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