Are any of the weight loss medications safe and effective for teenagers?

Researchers from St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia recently reported that metformin, a drug used to treat diabetes, can help obese, non-diabetic teenagers lose weight (Endocrine Society Annual Meeting, June 2006). Many previous studies show that short-term use of metformin can help people lose weight.

Metformin prevents the liver from releasing sugar into the bloodstream. When taken before eating, it markedly reduces the rise in blood sugar. A high rise in blood sugar after eating causes the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin which acts on the brain to make you hungry, on the liver to make more fat, and on the fat cells in your belly to fill with fat. This study shows that metformin along with a low-refined-carbohydrate diet lowers weight for years. It also lowers high blood sugar and cholesterol, decreases insulin resistance and helps get rid of acne in obese teenagers.

September 15, 2006

Get our newsletter