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Could this drug really be the answer to obesity?


Wonder drugs have come and on with regular monotony recently, but the name liraglutide might be one worth remembering.

Liraglutide has been developed and is manufactured by Danish company Novo Nordisk. This is a serious corporation employing nearly 40,000 people worldwide which has a long history of involvement in medical research. It founded the World Diabetes foundation.

The drug has been developed to help counteract the world’s problem with growing obesity. It is absorbed through a once a day injection, which tricks the brain into feeling full. Its official reports also say it lowers blood pressure, raises good cholesterol and staves off diabetes.

The reports even indicate that the drug might help towards slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Research on the drug has been thorough. It covered around 4,000 overweight and obese men and women in 27 countries including here in Britain who injected themselves once a day. Some were taking liraglutide and some were taking a placebo; and every person involved in the test carefully recorded what they ate and how much they exercised.

The results were quite remarkable. Two thirds of the people in the test lost at least 5 per cent of their weight and a third lost at least 10 per cent. For someone weighing around 14 stone, this would equate to around a stone and a half of weight loss; a seriously significant level.

Interestingly, blood fats also fell and there was a small drop in blood pressure.

However, some side effects were noticed in some of the members of the trial, including nausea.

Novo Nordisk has now applied to the EU regulator and it seems that, if the drug passes all the tests and is declared safe as well as effective, it could be available to be prescribed for obesity within a year. However, there has as yet been no indication of price, and this will be an important factor before the drug could be cleared for use by the NHS.

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