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Saturday 14 February 2015

New wonder weight-loss drug. Don’t worry about the cancer !

There’s a new wonder weight loss drug on the way, according to the Daily Mail last month, that is not only more effective than diet and exercise but it also lowers blood pressure, raises good cholesterol and prevents diabetes. It even, the article enthuses, produces a feel-good factor, making dieting a pleasure. Buy!

Gosh! unbelievable, this is exactly what nutritionist Zoe Harcombe thinks about it for reasons she explains below. Getting a realistic view of Saxenda is not only important for the health of anyone who is likely to be prescribed it but also for NHS budgets since it won’t come cheap.

While one expert quoted by the Mail described Saxenda as ‘absolutely life-changing for many of our most difficult-to-manage patients’, Harcombe highlights the mismatch between the glowing promises and the unimpressive reality, one of which is that the enthusiastic expert has extensive links with the company that makes Saxenda.

What the Mail article fails to make clear is that this drug, which under the name liraglutide (Victoza) has been used for over five years to treat type 2 diabetes, still has serious and unanswered questions about its safety. It has been linked both with a raised risk of thyroid cancer and with a condition which can lead to cancer of the pancreas. Even so patients given it for slimming will be getting twice the dose given to diabetics. A higher dose of any drug usually increases the risk of side effects.

More on this story here.


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