Scientists have discovered a new life-saving benefit of Ozempic and Semaglutide

Scientists have discovered a new life-saving benefit of Ozempic and Semaglutide

Human liver.  Pain disease

A national study in Sweden suggests that GLP1 agonists, such as Ozempic, can reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer in individuals with type 2 diabetes and chronic liver disease, suggesting a new and effective treatment option for preventing severe liver disease.

A national study conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, published in the journal Gut, suggests that the use of Ozempic and similar GLP1 agonists is associated with a reduced risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer in individuals with type 2 diabetes and chronic liver disease.

GLP1 agonists such as Ozempic reduce blood sugar levels and are mainly used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, because the drug also reduces appetite, it is now increasingly used to treat obesity and has become a popular weight-loss drug.

Reduced risk of liver damage

Early clinical trial results also suggest that GLP1 agonists may reduce the risk of liver damage. Therefore, researchers at Karolinska Institutet included all people in Sweden with chronic liver disease and type 2 diabetes in a register-based study. They then compared the risk of severe liver damage in those treated with GLP1 agonists and those who were not treated. The results showed that those who took the drug for a long period of time had a lower risk of developing more serious forms of liver disease such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

According to the researchers, this suggests that GLP1 agonists could be an effective treatment to avoid severe liver disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

“Fatty liver disease is estimated to affect up to one in five people in Sweden, many of whom have type 2 diabetes, and about one in twenty develops severe liver disease,” says first author Axel Wester, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine. . Hodding, Karolinska Institutet. “Our findings are interesting because there are currently no approved medications to reduce this risk.”

Many people in the study stopped taking GLP1 agonists, resulting in a lack of protective effect. However, those who continued to take their medications over a ten-year period were half as likely to develop severe liver disease.

Need confirmation

“The results need to be confirmed in clinical trials, but it will take many years for these studies to be completed,” says Axel Pfister. “So, we use existing registry data to try to say something about the effect of the drugs before that.”

One limitation of this method is that it cannot control for factors for which there are no data, such as blood tests to describe the severity of liver disease in more detail. However, researchers have recently built a new database called HERALD where they have access to blood samples from patients in the Stockholm area.

“As a next step, we will investigate the effect of GLP1 agonists in this database,” says final author of the study Hans Hagström, Consultant Hepatologist at Karolinska University Hospital and Assistant Professor at the Department of Medicine, Hoddinge, Karolinska Institutet. “If we obtain similar results, this would strengthen the hypothesis that GLP1 agonists could be used to reduce the risk of severe liver disease.”

Reference: “Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and the risk of major adverse liver outcomes in patients with chronic liver disease and type 2 diabetes” by Axel Wester, Ying Shang, Emilie Torresson Grebe, Anthony Matthews, and Hans Hagström, 30 January 2024. , Gut.
doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2023-330962

The research was mainly funded by the Stockholm Region (CIMED), the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Cancer Society. Hans Hagström’s research group has received funding from Astra Zeneca, EchoSens, Gilead, Intercept, MSD, Novo Nordisk, and Pfizer, although no industry-backed funding was obtained for this specific study.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *