Monday, May 22, 2017

Drugs to Fight Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity and diabetes are strongly linked. Obesity heightens the risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact,  according to The Obesity Society, 'the single best predictor of type 2 diabetes is overweight or obesity.' Further, according to the society, “Almost 90% of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity.” Therefore, it is incumbent on us to find ways to reduce obesity and, thus, the risk of type II diabetes. Identifying treatment methods that target obesity as well as type 2 diabetes is an important undertaking.

Among treatment methods that address obesity and type 2 diabetes are medications that might be used in novel ways for treatment approaches. One medication used to treat type 2 diabetes is Dapaglialozin. The medication was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, and given FDA approval in January of 2014.

Exenatide is another medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is developed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals. It was given FDA approval in 2005. One study has shown that “Dapaglifloozin + exenatide dual therapy produced sustain reduction in body weight, prediabetes, and SBP [systolic blood pressure] over 52 weeks…” So this combination drug may be useful in treating obesity and preventing type 2 diabetes.

Another medication that may be helpful in the treatment of obesity and diabetes is lorcaserin. Lorcaserin was given FDA approval in 2012. It was approved to treat obesity. But the drug may be helpful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes as well as obesity. Researchers in one study concluded that “lorcaserin may have beneficial effects on glycemic control with or without weight loss.”

So drugs already in use may be used in combinations to enhance the treatment of both diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Using existing drugs in combination or in novel protocols may provide new pathways to the reduction of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Obesity medicine specialists should be at the forefront of this approach to the treatment obesity and type 2 diabetes.


Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gut Bacteria, Diet, Pets and Obesity

In 2008, investigators at the Washington University St. Louis Medical School indicated that trillions of bacteria live in our gut. These bacteria perform a number of functions, including the extraction of calories from food and the management of nutrients. The bacteria are common to all people, but each individual has a unique set of gut bacteria. Studies have shown that these bacteria play an important role in weight control. Further, diet and contact with pets at a young age can influence gut bacteria.

Past research in mice has shown that obese mice had more of the bacteria called Firmicutes in their gut, and fewer of the bacteria called Bacteroidetes.  Therefore, Firmicutes were assumed to be associated with obesity, and Bacteroidetes were assumed to be associated with leanness.

The researchers also concluded that diet played a significant role in the number of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the gut of the mice. The mice that were fed a low-fat diet had more Bacteroidetes and less Firmicutes than the mice who were fed the high-fat diet. Since diet apparently plays an important role in the composition of gut bacteria in mice, there is a good chance that diet plays a significant role in the human gut bacteria composition.

And according to one study, there seems to be a high probability that contact with pets in the home, at a very young age, may heightened gut bacteria that can deter obesity. The researchers concluded that "The impact of pet ownership varies under different birth scenarios; however, in common, exposure to pets increased the abundance of two bacteria, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, which have been negatively associated with childhood atopy and obesity."

Of course, more study is needed to determine exactly how diet and contact with pets can influence gut bacteria. Healthcare providers could then work to influence the use of certain types of diets, and pet ownership if feasible, that could help grow desirable gut bacteria.

Indeed, organizations that provide meal replacements might be especially interested in creating diets that influence the growth of desirable gut bacteria. And pet shops will likely be interested in the pets that are most associated with healthy gut bacteria. At any rate, understanding how to cause the growth of certain gut bacteria that function to reduce obesity or cause leanness might be useful. 

Subscribe to Overfat Strategy Blog by Email