(HealthDay News) – Treatment of patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes with a variant of a recently identified metabolic regulator has favorable effects on body weight, fasting insulin, and lipid profile, but only somewhat lowers blood glucose levels, according to a study published in the Sept. 3 issue of Cell Metabolism.

Building on previous results showing that fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a metabolic regulator, Gregory Gaich, MD, from Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, and colleagues randomly assigned 47 patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes to placebo or 3, 10, or 20mg of LY2405319, a variant of FGF21, daily for 28 days.

The researchers found LY2405319 treatment to be associated with lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and a more favorable apolipoprotein concentration profile. Treatment was also beneficial for body weight, fasting insulin, and adiponectin, but only trended towards lower blood glucose levels.

“These results indicate that FGF21 is bioactive in humans and suggest that FGF21-based therapies may be effective for the treatment of selected metabolic disorders,” Gaich and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by Eli Lilly; all but one author are employees of Eli Lilly and hold stock in the company.

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