The weight loss medication Xenical helps overweight and obese people lose weight rapidly and is associated with rapid improvements in cardiovascular risk factors according to preliminary results of new research being presented at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) meeting in Qubec City, Canada1. A second presentation showed Xenical helps maintain weight loss for up to two years2.
In an ongoing study, conducted by Professor Hermann Toplak from the Karl-Franzens-Universitt, Graz, Austria, men and women with a BMI of 30-43 kg/m2 were randomised to treatment with Xenical plus diet (either 500kcal or 1000kcal/day deficit). Of the 430 people who have participated in the study, 83 per cent achieved clinically meaningful weight loss of ≥5 per cent of their body weight in the first 12 weeks of treatment an amount of weight loss shown to clinically improve the health and well-being of overweight people1,3. The average weight loss achieved by these patients after 12 weeks was 8 kg (or 7% of their body weight).
This weight loss was also associated with rapid improvements in cardiovascular risk factors in the first month of treatment. Reductions were seen in mean diastolic and systolic blood pressure (by 1.3 and 2.6 mmHg, respectively) after the first four weeks of treatment, with further improvements after 12 weeks (to a reduction of 3.0 and 4.3 mmHg respectively).
Further results from the first 12 weeks of the study showed:
The greatest weight loss was seen in the first four weeks of treatment (4.1kg lost) followed by patients losing a further 2 kg every 4 weeks to week 12.
BMI was reduced by 2.9kg/m2 on average
Waist circumference was reduced by 6.3cm on average. Excess fat around the waist is associated with insulin resistance, high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.