Diabetes

Can adding liraglutide to insulin treatment improve eating behaviors for patients with type 1 diabetes?

Posted by on Apr 21, 2020 in Diabetes mellitus |

In a nutshell

This study evaluated the outcomes of adding liraglutide (Victoza) to insulin therapy for overweight or obese patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). This study found that this treatment combination significantly improved appetite and eating behaviors in these patients.

Some background

Weight management is a key part of T1D management. About 30.5% to 47.8% of patients with T1D are overweight or obese. This is associated with a higher risk of complications related to diabetes, such as heart disease.

Long-term insulin use is also associated with low blood sugar and weight gain. This can make long-term management of diabetes difficult. Liraglutide is a long-acting GLP-1 receptor agonist. This type of treatment helps the pancreas release the right amount of insulin when blood glucose levels are high. The effects of liraglutide on weight loss in patients with T1D are unclear.

Methods & findings

This study had 15 patients with T1D. Patients were already on insulin therapy. In this study, patients received either liraglutide or a placebo for 24 weeks. Then, patients switched treatment groups for another 24 weeks. Patients received questionnaires about their eating habits during treatment.

Adding liraglutide to insulin therapy did not change HbA1c (average blood glucose over the past 3 months). After treatment, daily insulin doses were not significantly different between the two groups. Daily insulin doses were 66.7 units per day (liraglutide) and 73.3 units per day (placebo group).

Patients in the liraglutide group consumed less fat (by 3%) compared to placebo. Liraglutide treatment also significantly increased the intake of carbohydrates by 8% compared to placebo.

During the study, changes in the desire to eat, hunger, and feeling full were measured at mealtimes. Before lunch, liraglutide significantly decreased the desire to eat compared to placebo (7.1 points vs. 9.7 points). After lunch, liraglutide significantly reduced feelings of hunger compared to the start of treatment (17.3 points vs. 25.1 points). Liraglutide also significantly increased feelings of fullness compared to placebo (135.5 points vs. 121.9 points).

Most patients reported nausea. This side effect gradually disappeared. None of the patients stopped treatment.

The bottom line

This study found that adding liraglutide to insulin therapy significantly improved appetite and eating behaviors in patients with T1D.

The fine print

This study was quite small. More studies are needed to confirm these results. This study received funding support from Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of liraglutide.

Published By :

Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism

Original Title :

Effect of liraglutide on food consumption, appetite sensations and eating behaviours in overweight subjects with type 1 diabetes.

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