Victoza is a drug originally manufactured to combat the disease of diabetes. Studies have shown that taking it in conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet can lead to a 5-10% reduction in body mass. Weight loss studies have been conducted on patients with diabetes as well as those who did not have it and weight loss results were similar. Today, Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Victoza, is working to have it approved as a weight loss drug.
Although Victoza has yet to be officially approved for weight loss, it has become a very popular drug for Novo Nordisk. Its popularity may be because many people are using it for off-label reasons. Sales grew 58 percent in 2012 and another 14 percent in the latter part of 2013. In December, the pharmaceutical company filed two submissions with the FDA in order to prescribe it for weight loss. At this time, it is still only available for prescription to diabetes patients.
Victoza slows digestion and stimulates the production of insulin, which leads to weight loss. The higher the dosage, the larger the weight loss. A study done at the University of Copenhagen showed that subjects taking a dosage of 3.0 mg had an average weight loss of 16 pounds while those who took a doses ranging from 1.2 to 2.4 mg averaged between 10 and 13 pounds.
There are some concerns regarding side effects of taking Victoza including, but not limited to increased risk of pancreaitis as well as tumors of the thyroid. There are many that believe that the overwhelming amount of possible side effects overwhelms the positive benefits.
If history is any indication, regardless of the possible side effects, Victoza will be hugely successful for Novo Nordisk when it eventually becomes approved as a weight loss drug.
Medical Weight Loss
The human body naturally stores fat cells for warmth and fuel. Factors such as diet, nutrition, physical fitness, genetic make-up, and stress can influence how readily a body maintains or increases its fat layers, and where the fat is stored. Understanding how the body accumulates fat plays a large role in the success or failure of medical weight loss.
Most fat accrual starts in the abdominal area and can migrate to higher on the torso and lower around the hips and thighs. The abdominal area is the center point because of where and why the body starts holding onto the foods eaten—the small intestine, not the stomach.
The omentum is the layer of fat in front of the small intestine. Since the small intestine is where food is absorbed into the body, that’s also where fat storage begins. The stomach begins breaking foods down for digesting, but it’s the small intestine that absorbs the nutrients and fat.
The omentum stores the body’s emergency fat supply for high-demand times, such as famine and stressful periods. Because it is the body’s first stop for fuel reserves, it also has first priority in fat storage. Receptors in the omentum activate and cause food cravings, even if the person does not feel physically hungry.
Early daily intakes of high amounts of fiber can cause food to slow progression through the small intestine, allowing for well-rounded nutrients to be absorbed, and the slowed digestion can cause feelings of fullness longer.
No two bodies are exactly alike, but body structure tendencies run along common lines.
Men tend to store excess fat initially around their stomachs; women tend to store extra fat first in their hips and thighs. Knowing which is probable according to gender can help spot and prevent fat build-up.
Prevention is always the easiest method, but when the pounds and inches add up anyway, exercise, medical intervention, and diet modification helps eliminate those unwanted extra bulges.
Fad diets can harm a dieter’s health. Before beginning a weight loss regime, seek medical consultation and advice. A licensed medical personnel can oversee a safe, healthy weight loss program that ensures proper nutrition, moderate exercise when possible and close supervision for side effects and medical improvements.
Prescription drugs can help stem appetites, but often require close medical supervision: Undiagnosed and untreated side effects can be deadly.
Medical weight loss programs encompass proper nutrition, medical supervision, support during weight loss and health monitoring. If drugs are prescribed, their effectiveness and effects are closely monitored.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., and Michael Roizen, M.D, 2007,”Forget about Your Stomach,” Esquire, available: http://www.esquire.com/dont-miss/better-man-07/stomach0507?click=main_sr. [accessed: 042711]
“Diet Pills and Prescription Weight Loss Drugs: How They Work,” Reviewed by Judi Goldstone on Sept. 19, 2009; available: http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/weight-loss-prescription-weight-loss-medicine. [Accessed: 042711]
Author: Dawn Robinson, Award Winning Freelance Journalist, www.blogese.com