Diet Pill for Diabetics Causes Healthy Weight Loss
Weight loss plays an important role in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Health experts say that just a loss of approximately 5% of a diabetic patient’s weight can result in improved glycemic control. However, Type 2 diabetics typically find it more difficult to lose weight than non-diabetics. In fact, researchers say that diet and exercise are not enough to help diabetics lose weight and that drug intervention is needed that is effective, safe and can be taken in conjunction with blood-sugar medications for treating their diabetes. This week, researchers announce in a free online journal article published in the journal Obesity that the diet pill lorcaserin has demonstrated significant weight loss in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Lorcaserin is a serotonin receptor angonist that works specifically on appetite signals in the brain and has been shown in previous studies—with otherwise healthy obese individuals—to cause significant weight loss. Encouraged by the previous weight loss findings with lorcaserin, researchers from a variety of academic institutions and members of The Obesity Society (TOS), worked together to determine whether or not lorcaserin is safe and effective in the treatment of overweight patients with Type 2 diabetes.
In a study titled BLOOM-DM (Behavioral Modification and Lorcaserin for Obesity and Overweight Management in Diabetes Mellitus), researchers recruited 604 obese and overweight participants for a year-long, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. The participants were divided into 3 groups with one group receiving 10 milligrams of lorcasein twice a day in the morning and the evening; the second group received 10 milligrams of lorcasein once a day in the morning and a placebo in the evening; and, the third group receiving a placebo twice a day with one pill in the morning and one in the evening.
All patients continued with their metformin and SFU (sulfonylurea) anti-diabetes drugs during the trial. Metformin is an anti-diabetes drug that lowers blood sugar levels, and has been found to cause slight weight loss. SFU is a drug that induces the pancreas to secrete additional insulin. All participants also engaged in a lifestyle modification weight loss program during the study.
After one year, the researchers found that patients with Type 2 diabetes who took either the 10 milligrams of lorcasein twice a day or 10 milligrams of lorcasein just once a day, achieved a weight loss of 5.5% of their starting body weight in comparison to the placebo group that lost on average of only 1.5% of their starting body weight. Furthermore, approximately 50% of the participants who were in the lorcasein groups also achieved improved glycemic control—twice that of the placebo control group.
According to the study’s lead author Patrick O'Neil, Ph.D., and President of TOS, "That's a very meaningful difference in weight loss for this population. Importantly, the patients on active medication also showed much greater improvement on a key measure of blood glucose control."
The authors acknowledge that their study design has some limitations in that it only evaluated the effects of lorcasein on Type 2 diabetes patients whose diabetes is currently treated with oral agents that included metformin and/or SFU and that it remains to be tested whether the healthy weight loss results they observed with the diabetic diet pill lorcasein will also include a broader diabetic population.
Follow this link to an informative article titled “The Good Diabetic Sugar” about what sugar choice may actually help in controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile
Reference: “Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Lorcaserin for Weight Loss in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The BLOOM-DM Study” Obesity (2012); 20: 7, 1426–1436; Patrick M. O'Neil et al.