GLP-1 receptor agonists (Exenetide and Liraglutide) are a relatively new form of treatment for diabetes which is taking the world by storm. They are injectable treatments that cause the body’s level of GLP-1 to rise and in patients with type II diabetes this causes beneficial effects in that blood glucose levels fall and in addition people loose a significant amount of weight. This action of reducing weight singles out these treatments as being unique and it is why they are being used extensively in clincial practice. Professor David Russell-Jones was the head of a large study comparing GLP-1 (Liraglutide) with insulin in patients who were on maximum oral therapy. The study has been published in the top european Journal, Diabetologia, and has lead to a change in clinical practice.
In summary, the study showed that Liraglutide out performed insulin in that a superior reduction in blood sugars was maintained, there was also significant weight loss where those randomised on insulin put on significant amounts of weight. Blood pressure was also reduced in those on Liraglutide.