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A 24-month metformin treatment study of children with obesity: Changes in circulating GDF-15 and associations with changes in body weight and visceral fat

20 September 2021

Metformin treatment is known to reduce body weigh and visceral fat.

In a recent study performed by IDIBGI's Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk in Paediatrics research group, children with obesity (mean age 10 years) who were treated with metformin for 24 months (within a randomized, double-blind clinical trial with 850 mg / day of metformin vs. placebo) had higher blood levels of GDF-15 (a protein produced by the digestive tract and kidneys that decreases appetite and metabolic alterations caused by obesity). In addition, higher increases in blood GDF-15 during treatment were associated with higher loss of body weight loss and with reduced visceral fat.

GDF-15 could therefore be a mediator of the beneficial effects of metformin in children with obesity and a potential drug to treat this disease as early as in childhood.


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