The use of drugs to lose weight in the shortest possible time is one of the shortcuts that many use to lose weight by avoiding diets and exercise routines. A strategy whose main ally in recent times is the drug known as liraglutide , which is sold as Victoza and Saxenda, and which was created for the treatment of people with diabetes, in whom it was proven that it was able to make them lose weight. Now, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern (United States) have shown that, in adults with overweight or obesity combined with a high cardiovascular risk, the drugTaken once daily and combined with lifestyle interventions , it significantly reduced two types of fat that have been associated with risk to heart health: visceral fat and ectopic fat.

Visceral fat is stored in the abdominal cavity around important internal organs, such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Ectopic fat is stored in tissues that normally contain small amounts of fat, such as the liver, skeletal muscle, heart, and pancreas.

Liraglutin is a 97% analog of GLP-1, a hormone that is secreted from the small intestine in response to food intake.Liraglutide has an appetite-suppressing effect, and the feeling of fullness lasts about 24 hours, so it should be injected daily, ideally at the same time. The objective is to take advantage of its anorexigenic effect so that it is easier for the patient to adhere to the diet plan proposed by the treating physician as long as, in approximately one year, he can lose around 10% of his initial weight and thus reduce the risk of associated diseases.
In this sense, the main finding of this study was ”a significant decrease in visceral fat in patients without diabetes but with overweightor obesity. These results demonstrate the potential of liraglutide treatment to significantly reduce the risk of chronicdiseases in this population,” explains Dr. Parag Joshi, lead author of the study, which has been published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular accidents

According to the researchers, obesity affects an estimated 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 young people, which carries a considerable risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.In this regard, in a 2016 study aimed by these same researchers and called the Leader trial, the rate of first occurrence of death from causesCardiovascular events, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or non-fatal stroke among patients with type 2 diabetes was lower in those treated with liraglutide than with placebo.

Our findings help add a possible mechanism as to why there is a benefit of liraglutide on cardiovascular outcomes, while also showing its benefits in people without diabetes,” says Dr. Joshi.
The 185 study participants received a daily injection of liraglutide for 40 weeks of treatment.The relative effects of liraglutide on fat reduction were two-fold greater in abdominal tissues and six-fold greater in liver .than those observed in total body weight.
The treatment effect was consistent across race/ethnicity and BMI categories, and between those with and without baseline prediabetes. Liraglutide also reduced fasting blood glucose and inflammation in this study population without diabetes , most of whom had normal blood sugar levels at baseline.
“Excess visceral fat and ectopic fat (for example, in the liver) is essential for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It remains a challenge to identify people at higher risk , to offer them a treatment in addition to lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise”Joshi emphasizes.

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