New diabetes drug may help shed extra kilos: Study

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A compound which mimics a naturally occurring hormone that regulates appetite may help obese people lose weight, according to a study.

The compound, semaglutide, has a chemical structure very similar to the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which regulates both insulin secretion and appetite.

“This randomised study of weight loss induced with semaglutide in people with obesity but without diabetes has shown the highest weight reductions yet seen for any pharmaceutical intervention,” said Patrick M O’Neil from the Medical University of South Carolina in the US.

The study, presented at Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Chicago, included 957 participants, 35 per cent of whom were male.

All participants had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30, but did not have diabetes.

They were randomly assigned to seven different groups.

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