Hormone combination may lead to new treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes

Wed, 20 Mar 2013
Scientists at Imperial College London say that combining two hormones, important in metabolism, into one treatment could lead to a new form of therapy for obesity and type 2 diabetes .

An internationally-renowned team at the University conducted a study which provides 'first in human' evidence that a combined therapy using the hormones glucagon and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) may form the basis for a new treatment for obesity and diabetes in the future.

Both hormones play key roles in regulating levels of blood glucose. Glucagon prevents the storage of glucose in fat deposits and the liver, and raises blood sugar levels, while GLP-1 stimulates the release of insulin in response to high blood sugar and also acts on the brain to reduce feelings of hunger.

Professor Stephen Bloom, head of division of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism at Imperial College London, said: "The hormones glucagon and GLP-1 are both used by the body to control blood sugar and metabolism, so there is great interest in utilising them to find new treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes ."

"We found that volunteers treated with a glucagon/GLP-1 combination consumed significantly less food . These data replicate our findings in animals, suggesting that a glucagon/GLP-1 combination may be a promising lead from which to develop a new treatment for obesity and diabetes ."

The study findings were presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Harrogate, England, on Tuesday.
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