Don’t Use Victoza To Prevent Diabetes

| March 22, 2017

Between normal blood sugar readings and those that will get you a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, there is something of a grey area. It is called prediabetes – and, as I pointed out here, it’s one of those conditions that has primarily been invented to sell more diabetes drugs.

In a new, placebo-controlled study, funded by Novo Nordisk, its drug Victoza (liraglutide) was found to reduce the proportion of obese people with prediabetes who developed full-blown type 2 diabetes within two years.1 Two per cent of those taking Victoza became diabetic during the study, compared with six per cent of the placebo group. The drug company trumpets this as “diabetes prevented in 80 per cent of at-risk patients”.

But hold on a minute. Don’t these results show that over the two years of the study only a tiny minority of people with prediabetes developed type 2 diabetes? And reading the full report reveals that half of the participants dropped out during the trial – possibly because Victoza must be given by a daily injection, which is not much fun, especially when the likely benefit is so small.

On the other hand, the danger could be great. As I wrote here, there is evidence that Victoza increases the risks of pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, thyroid tumours and colon cancer. And a study with mice indicates it may actually make type 2 diabetes worse, by exhausting the beta cells and reducing insulin secretion.

For most people, prediabetes can easily be reversed by diet and exercise, so that they never need to take diabetes drugs. And for the few who need a bit of extra help, curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, is a far safer and more effective option than Victoza. In a clinical trial in people with advanced prediabetes, 16.4 per cent of the placebo group developed type 2 diabetes within nine months, but not a single patient in the group taking curcumin did so.2

In my next blog post, I look at some of the latest attempts to replace insulin-producing beta cells and ask whether playing God with the pancreas is always wise.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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1. Le Roux CW, Astrup A, Fujioka K et al. 3 years of liraglutide versus placebo for type 2 diabetes risk reduction and weight management in individuals with prediabetes: a randomised, double-blind trial. Lancet. 2017 Feb 22 (Online ahead of print).

2. Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Luechapudiporn R et al. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012; 35(11):2121-2127.


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Category: Diabetes Drugs

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