Future obesity treatment could involve administering patients with a hormone which is usually found in the gut.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen found that glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) – a hormone produced by the body and secreted by the intestine when a person eats – has a significant impact on weight loss and could also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The hormone can be used in obesity treatment because it sates appetite and thus suppresses food consumption.
In tests involving more than 6,000 patients, those who were given GLP-1 for 20 weeks achieved a greater weight loss than control groups.
Doctors explained that the drug should be used in patients who are overweight and have diabetes and further tests would ascertain if it was suitable as a pure obesity treatment in the future.
The Department of Health states that people with a body mass index of more than 30 are considered obese and have a higher risk of developing serious health issues.