Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists are generally used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. The question whether this class of diabetic drugs could aid in weight loss is answered by scientists from the University of Copenhagen.
In this study, adult participants with BMI 25 or higher with and devoid of diabetes mellitus, were examined. One group was administered drugs like exenatide twice in a day and once in a week. They also received drugs like liraglutide once every day at clinically applicable doses for a span of 20 weeks. Both these drugs fall under the category of GLP-1R agonists. The control group was given placebo, oral antidiabetic drugs and insulin.
This extensive study was inclusive of almost 25 trials in which the team conducted subgroup, regression, sequential and sensitivity analyses too. As per the results, the group which received GLP-1R agonists seemed to achieve greater weight loss as compared to the control set. This effect was seen in diabetic as well as non-diabetic individuals.
Cumulatively, the GLP-1R agonists appeared to work towards improving diastolic and systolic blood pressure, plasma collections of cholesterol and glycaemic regulation. However, they did not have an influence on the plasma concentrations found in the liver enzymes.
Some of the side-effects associated with GLP-1R agonists were nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Notably, patients did not seem to develop hypoglycaemia by this drug. Thus, the team concluded that obese patients with or without diabetes could attain greater weight loss by consuming GLP-1R agonists.
The study is published in the British Medical Journal.