Common Obesity Drug Could Help Fight Cancerous Cells, New Study Shows

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New research suggests that doctors frequently prescribe a well-known medication for Type 2 diabetes and obesity may possess additional properties in fighting cancer.

Obesity drug has the potential to prevent cancer

According to a recent study conducted by a team from Maynooth University, glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) analogues, which are widely recognized as an effective pharmaceutical method for combating obesity, exhibit the ability to rejuvenate the body’s inherent mechanisms for battling cancer.

Statistics indicate that approximately one in every three adults in the United States is affected by obesity, while globally, roughly 13% of the adult population grapples with severe weight issues. Shockingly, cancers associated with obesity contribute to an alarming 40% of all cancer cases diagnosed by medical professionals in the United States annually.

Research indicates that obesity and excessive weight can lead to various health issues, including cancer. For example, previous studies have shown a correlation between obesity and an increased risk of developing cancer, partly due to the impairment of the body’s anticancer immune cells called the Natural Killer (NK) cells.

GLP-1 can restore NK cells’ functionality

However, a recent study reveals that GLP-1 can potentially restore the functionality of NK cells, enabling them to effectively eliminate cancer cells. Interestingly, this restorative effect of GLP-1 on NK cells is independent of its primary function of promoting weight loss. Thus, the treatment directly activates the NK cells, enhancing their ability to combat cancer.

Dr Andrew E. Hogan of Maynooth University’s Lonsdale Human Health Institute expresses enthusiasm for recent research on the positive effects of GLP-1 treatment for individuals with obesity. The findings indicate tangible benefits for current users of the drug. However, the global demand for the treatment has surged due to celebrity endorsement, leading to a shortage that needs to be addressed to enhance access.

Obesity is associated with various health issues, such as Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and cancer, significantly affecting individuals’ quality of life. Recent research suggests that GLP-1 therapy not only aids in weight loss but also shows promising results in improving cardiovascular health.

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