What Does the Diabetes Drug Byetta and the Gila Monster Have in Common with Causes Weight Loss?

There are many people with Type 2 Diabetes that currently utilize the drug Byetta marketed by Eli Lilly and Amylin. The active ingredient in Byetta is a synthetic version of a protein produced in the saliva of the Gila Monster. More than just help with diabetes, researchers have just released findings for another positive benefit Byetta offers…weight loss.

At the annual American Diabetes Association conference this week, researchers presented the findings of a 3 year 200 person study that was conducted on Byetta. The findings showed that Byetta causes weight loss as well as control of diabetes.

“Well, it’s weird. You have to wonder how you can go from Gila monster saliva to something that works in humans,” said Sandra Leal, a pharmacist and diabetes expert at El Rio Community Health Center.

The average weight loss was described as modest only totaling about 11 pounds per patient but most of the weight loss occurred in the first year which is great. Since obesity and type 2 diabetes often go hand in hand additional weight loss is a definite benefit to any patient taking Byetta.

The weight loss caused by Byetta can be contributed to two major factors. The first being that Byetta slows the rate at which the stomach empties causing the patient to feel satisfied longer after each meal. The second factor is that it interacts with the part of the brain that is responsible for the sensation of being full. Both of those things would aide in a patient trying to lose weight.

As most of us may know, diet and exercise are both very important in controlling diabetes. If you are on a diabetes friendly diet and are getting your exercise you are doing your part in the battle against diabetes and you should be very proud of yourself.

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