As populations age, lifestyle factors become health issues.
For many people living in Port Stephens and the Myall Coast, obesity is a problem.
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Now there is a new approach to tackling obesity and related health issues.
Australia’s leading university, Curtin University, and Perth-based medicinal cannabis company, Little Green Pharma Ltd (LGP), have joined forces to explore the use of medicinal cannabis treatment options for obesity and related health.
Proper management of diabetes is crucial for long-term positive patient outcomes.
The Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing tells us that one in 20 Australians lives with diabetes; and the prevalence of diabetes increases with age.
Almost 1 in 5 (19%) Australians aged 75 and over had diabetes in 2017-2018, four times more than among 45-54 year olds (4.5%) and 1.9 times more than among 55 -64 years (10%).
Diabetes was also more common in men (5.0%) than in women (3.8%) after controlling for age (ABS 2019a).
The average age of Tea Gardens residents is 65, making the population at high risk for diabetes.
The research, led by Professor Marco Falasca of Curtin’s Medical School, will aim to identify one or more combinations of cannabinoids that can produce effects in the gastrointestinal tract to induce feelings of fullness and decreased appetite, which may result in weight loss and even reversion of diabetes.
Professor Falasca said the research could be a game-changer for people struggling with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
“I am delighted to begin this collaboration with LGP and very grateful to have the opportunity to expand my research in the field of medical cannabis in relation to obesity and gastrointestinal diseases,” said Professor Falasca.
“Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide with at least 2.8 million people dying each year due to being overweight or obese and current drug treatments have significant adverse side effects and need to be injected by patients.
“Some of the more than 100 cannabinoids present in the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant have been shown to have therapeutic potential against obesity.
Our research will seek to unlock a better understanding of the role these cannabinoids may play in regulating bowel function, their mechanism of action, and the optimal dosage for therapeutic effect to aid in weight loss.
LGP Director of Research and Innovation, Dr Leon Warne, said LGP will fund the study in three stages, with the final stage to be completed by February 2023.
“LGP is delighted to begin this investigation into a new, proprietary treatment option for obesity and related diseases,” said Dr. Warne.
“Supporting this type of research, which investigates the use of medical cannabis in difficult-to-treat conditions, is the cornerstone of our business and key to our R&D strategy.”
Diabetes and obesity are some of the underlying health conditions that have presented as a comorbidity for COVID-19 deaths.
By Marianne Samson