Exercise + GLP-1 RA Effective for Weight Loss While Preserving BMD

Greatest total estimated mean change in weight loss with combination of exercise and liraglutide
obesity exercise running
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

THURSDAY, June 27, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with obesity, without diabetes, combining exercise with the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA), liraglutide, is effective for weight loss, while preserving bone health, according to a study published online June 25 in JAMA Network Open.

Simon Birk Kjær Jensen, Ph.D., from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues examined bone health at clinically relevant sites after diet-induced weight loss followed by a one-year intervention with exercise, liraglutide, or both in a secondary analysis of a randomized trial involving adults aged 18 to 65 years with obesity, without diabetes. After an eight-week low-calorie diet, participants were randomly allocated to exercise alone, the GLP-1 RA liraglutide alone, the combination, or placebo for 52 weeks (48, 49, 49 and 49 participants, respectively).

The researchers found that the total estimated mean change in weight losses during the study was 7.03 kg in the placebo group and 11.19, 13.74, and 16.88 kg in the exercise, liraglutide, and combination groups, respectively. Bone mineral density (BMD) was unchanged in the combination group versus the placebo group at the hip and lumbar spine. BMD decreased for the liraglutide versus the exercise group at the hip and spine (mean changes, −0.013 and −0.016 g/cm2, respectively).

"Our findings highlight the importance of combining exercise with GLP-1 RA treatment for bone health," the authors write.

Novo Nordisk supplied the liraglutide and placebo pens; Cambridge Weight Plan supplied low-calorie meal replacement products.

Abstract/Full Text

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