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December 2nd, 2009
Xenical is Extra Beneficial for Obese Diabetes Patients

Xenical, a weight loss drug that limits fat absorption in the intestine has now been shown as a drug that offers benefits to obese diabetics by rising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and lowering serum triglycerides to leave low-density lipoprotein unchanged in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

At the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, British and German researchers reported that Xenical successfully helps shed the pounds along with the non-diabetic population.

The amount of change in lipid profiles appeared dependent on the amount of weight loss, suggested Dr. John Wilding, a senior lecturer of medicine at the University Of Liverpool, UK. In a recent study, patients who lost less than 5% of their body weight also noted a 0.30 mmol/l change in LDL-C. Meanwhile, patients who enjoyed a loss of 5-10% body weight had a 0.21 mmol/l change in LDL along with this loss, those who lost more than 10% body weight also so a decline in cholesterol.

In a study of 300 obese patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes also being treated with sulfonylureas, the patients who received Xenical showed a significant improvement in glycemic control compared to the placebo group.

Along with a decrease in fasting plasma glucose, a decline in HbA1c was 0.28% for the xenical group while only 0.18% was seen in the placebo group.

While people who gain weight are at risk of diabetes, hypertension and other problems, an ironic twist comes from the fact that drugs used to treat diabetes and hypertension also aid in weight gain.

However, weight loss can be an effective treatment to reduce the risk of diabetes. Often, patients with impaired glucose even return to a normal glucose tolerance. At the same time, losing weight helps reduce blood pressure levels and stress on the cardiovascular system.

While in practice, physicians are quick to look for treatment for diabetes first; this may not always be the best approach. In some patients, especially ones with multiple risk factors, addressing weight issues and reducing cardiovascular and lipid stress is a better treatment option.

“One of the things we as physicians often forget is how hard it is to lose weight and how easy it is to gain weight,” said Dr. Arya Sharma, a professor at the Free University of Berlin.

Surprisingly, most of the most prominent diabetes drugs promote weight gain. Insulin has been proven to cause a 7kg weight gain over 10 years, sulfonylureas is associated with a 2-5kg gain and metformin caused a 1-2kg gain.

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