London: Here`s some good news for those
looking for a "quick-fix" to shed flab -- scientists claim to
have developed a "four-in-one" diet drug which reduces weight,
apart from controlling blood pressure, cholesterol levels and
even preventing diabetes, particularly in obese.
The jab, liraglutide, which could be available in
the market in three years, has a "feel-good" factor -- similar
in structure to a gut hormone that helps regulate appetite, it
tricks brain into thinking people are full despite eating 20
per cent less food, the `Daily Mail` reported.
The scientists tested liraglutide on more than
550 obese men and women. Some of those taking part were given
liraglutide daily. Others were given a supply of dummy pills.
Those who took liraglutide lost an average of a stone
and a half over six months -- more than twice as much as those
on dummy drugs. When they took the drug for another 18 months,
the weight stayed off. However those on dummy pills started to
pile the pounds back on, say the scientists.
The benefits of liraglutide, which like insulin comes
in an injectable pen, did not end there. Blood pressure levels
dropped to such an extent that patients could throw away the
drugs they were taking to keep it under control. There was
also an improvement in blood fats, including cholesterol.
The body`s ability to deal with sugar changed so much
that diabetes was staved off in those at risk. Liraglutide can
also improve the processing of sugar in those who already have
the condition -- removing need for some to inject themselves
with insulin, according to the scientists.
Prof Mike Lean of Glasgow University, who treated some
of the Britons in the trial, said: "The weight loss was very
striking. One of the things we looked at was prediabetes where
you have one foot on the slippery slope towards diabetes and
heart disease, and it more or less abolished it.
"That doesn`t mean that it has gone forever but at
least you`ve turned the clock back. The drug`s very effective
and most obese people would like to lose one and a half stone
or more. The difficulty is what then" Can people adapt their
eating habits and start to become thin people?
"We don`t know. But we do know with absolute certainty
that when you stop a drug and the effects have gone, people`s
weight starts going up again."