Therapies for inter-relating diabetes and obesity - GLP-1 and obesity

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INTRODUCTION: The dramatic rise in the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with increased mortality, morbidity as well as public health care expenses worldwide. The need for effective and long-lasting pharmaceutical treatment is obvious. The record of anti-obesity drugs has been poor so far and the only efficient treatment today is bariatric surgery. Research has indicated that appetite inhibiting hormones from the gut may have a therapeutic potential in obesity. The gut incretin hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), appears to be involved in both peripheral and central pathways mediating satiety. Clinical trials have shown that two GLP-1 receptor agonists exenatide and liraglutide have a weight-lowering potential in non-diabetic obese individuals. Furthermore, they may also hold a potential in preventing diabetes as compared to other weight loss agents.

AREAS COVERED: The purpose of this review is to cover the background for the GLP-1-based therapies and their potential in obesity and pre-diabetes. Up-to-date literature on incretin-based therapies will be summarized with a special mention of their weight-lowering properties. The literature updated to August 2014 from PubMed was identified using the combinations: GLP-1, GLP-1 receptor agonists, incretins, obesity and pre-diabetes.

EXPERT OPINION: The incretin impairment, which seems to exist in both obesity and diabetes, may link these two pathologies and underlines the potential of GLP-1-based therapies in the prevention and treatment of these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number17
Pages (from-to)2487-500
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

ID: 132047227