Diabetes jab that fights obesity

The once-a-day injection soon available on NHS

Scientists have developed a revolutionary once-a-day injection that both controls the symptoms of diabetes and helps fight obesity.

European regulators gave the drug the go-ahead yesterday, and it is expected that the jab will soon be available free on the NHS. Experts say that the injection, called Victoza, could help prevent thousands of type 2 diabetes sufferers having to take insulin – which can cause weight gain.

Trials have also shown the jab can help people lose weight by intensifying the ‘full’ feeling they have, and by reducing the speed at which their stomach empties.

Another benefit is that it lowers blood pressure, which is a factor in heart disease. The jab needs to be used just once a day because it stimulates the release of insulin only when blood sugar levels become too high.

David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘The fact this is an injection should not put anyone off. As well as reducing blood sugar levels, it also reduces weight – which is extraordinarily good news.’

Type 2 diabetes is linked to poor exercise and diet. Many of the 2million Britons with type 2 are overweight or obese – and an estimated 500,000 more have the disease but do not know it.

Rates of obesity are forecast to soar over the coming decades and those affected are at higher risk of heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.

Ministers warn that the ‘obesity timebomb’ could bankrupt the NHS. Even without the threat of obesity, diabetes is dangerous because it can lead to long-term illnesses such as blindness and kidney failure.

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