Hormone-insulin combo more effective for Type 2 diabetes than other therapies

A drug that mimics the action of a gut hormone combined with basal insulin is more effective at controlling blood sugar than other diabetes treatments, according to new research published in The Lancet.

The findings are important given that many anti-diabetic treatments can increase risk for hypoglycemia and weight gain, said lead author Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

GLP-1 hormone

Glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) is a hormone secreted by the gut after eating. The GLP-1 therapy seems to help people with Type 2 diabetes due to its ability to regulate blood sugar and help with weight loss.

After analyzing 2,905 studies over 64 years which involved basal insulin and/or GLP-1, researchers found that a combination of the two therapies resulted in a 92-percent greater likelihood of controlled blood sugar. Not only that, but the combo was associated with a 33-percent lower risk of hypoglycemia and almost a 13-pound greater weight loss.

"Combining a GLP-1 agonist with basal insulin is a treatment strategy that can achieve the ideal triumvirate of short-term outcomes in diabetes management: optimal glucose control alongside weight loss and a low risk of hypoglycemic episodes," said Dr. John Buse, Chief of the Division of Endocrinology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "As such, this combination treatment could improve the management of people with type 2 diabetes."

Source: The Lancet

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