Monday, January 30, 2023

Obesity – A widely used drug against diabetes can help you lose weight regardless of age

A recent study from Tel Aviv University found that a common drug can help people lose weight effectively no matter how old they are.

The obesity drug semaglutide (Ozempic in Spain) was originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes. However, its effect on weight loss prompted researchers to study its effects in people who were obese but did not have diabetes.

Weight loss is often accompanied by loss of lean body mass (muscle mass), which can have negative effects on physical functioning and resting energy expenditure, ie, basal metabolism.

In the study, the investigators tested the tolerability and effect of semaglutide 2.4 mg on weight loss and body composition by age. A group of adults without type 2 diabetes were assigned to weekly injections of semaglutide 2.4 mg or a placebo, and all had to follow a lifestyle intervention for 68 weeks.

The team found that despite following the same diet, the change in body weight was greater with semaglutide than with placebo and was maintained across all age groups:

  • People under age 40: 15.2% weight loss in the semaglutide group versus 2.3% in placebo
  • people between the ages of 40 and 60: 14.6 kg with semaglutide versus 2.5 kg with placebo
  • People over the age of 60: 14.7 kg with semaglutide versus 2.4 kg with placebo.

In terms of percent body fat and lean body mass maintenance, a more pronounced effect of semaglutide was found in patients under 50 years of age.

The team also found that the safety of semaglutide was generally consistent across all age groups. Mild intestinal disturbances were the most frequent adverse effect. They say that treatment with semaglutide decreased the percentage of body fat mass and increased lean mass in all subjects, especially those under the age of 50.

Reference

Effect of continuous weekly subcutaneous semaglutide versus placebo on maintenance of weight loss in adults with overweight or obesity.

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