The anti-diabetic medication, Semaglutide, may offer hope to obese people who need help to lose weight.

Semaglutide is an injectable drug that was first approved by the American FDA in 2017. The governing bodies in several other countries, including Canada and Japan, gave the drug their approval the following year.

Semaglutide increases insulin secretion and helps control blood sugar levels in people who have Type 2 Diabetes. It has an advantage over alternative anti-diabetic medications because only one injection is necessary per week.

In addition to producing favorable changes in blood sugar and insulin, Semaglutide also appears to suppress appetite.

Researchers have recently explored the value of Semaglutide as a weight loss aid by conducting a clinical trial. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine (Feb 10, 2021).

The researchers recruited 1,961 volunteers with a BMI of 30 or higher. Some of the volunteers got a Semaglutide injection once per week. Others were injected with a placebo.

In addition to the injections, all the volunteers were given monthly counseling sessions to help them maintain a low-calorie diet. They were also encouraged to increase their levels of physical activity. The study ran for 68 weeks.

By the end of the study, on average, the volunteers who were given Semaglutide showed a 14.9 percent reduction in body weight. This was a big improvement on the members of the placebo group, who only showed a 2.4 percent reduction in bodyweight.

Semaglutide is manufactured by the Danish Pharmaceutical Company Novo Nordisk. The company has already applied to the FDA to try and have Semaglutide approved as a weight loss medication.

Obesity continues to be a big problem in many countries of the world, so the potential value of Semaglutide as a weight loss aid has quickly become big news.

However, all the media attention Semaglutide is presently getting comes on the back of a single study that was funded by Nova Nordisk. Although the results appear promising, the FDA may be unwilling to approve Semaglutide as a weight loss medication unless it can produce similarly good results in additional studies. At the moment, it’s too early to say what the future holds.

February 18, 2021

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