People with Type 2 diabetes in Leicestershire have been asked to take part in a study examining the link between medication and appetite.

Researchers from the Leicester Diabetes Centre are hoping to recruit men and postmenopausal women who have the condition and are currently taking the drug metformin or who use diet and lifestyle alone to control their diabetes.

The aim of the SGLT-2 inhibitor Empagliflozin Effects on Appetite and Weight Regulation: A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial (SEESAW) study is to see how the medication Empagliflozin (Jardiance™) impacts people’s hunger when compared with a placebo.

The research team also want to investigate the effect of being on a low-calorie diet in addition to taking the drug.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and Chief Investigator of the study, said:

“We already know Type 2 diabetes is very closely associated with weight, with over 90 per cent of newly diagnosed people above their ideal weight.

“Losing weight can help people control their condition and further complications which is why we wanted to explore the benefits of Empagliflozin and how it might significantly alter peeople’s health in the long-run.”

Empagliflozin (Jardiance™) is a class of drug called SGLT-2 inhibitors, commonly used to help people with Type 2 diabetes lose weight. It works by increasing the amount of sugar in the urine, which helps to lower the amount of blood glucose in the body.

Glucose lost in the urine is in the form of calories, and this results in weight loss over a few months of treatment. However, the weight loss seen in people taking Empagliflozin (Jardiance™) is less than researchers would expect considering the amount of calories being lost as glucose in the urine. It is believed this discrepancy may be due to how the drug affects appetite.

The study, set to take place across 21 months, will provide researchers with a better understanding of why the predicted and observed weight loss is different when taking Empagliflozin (Jardiance™) by measuring appetite regulation.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation led by Professor Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

At 8.9 per cent, the diabetes prevalence rate in Leicester is one of the highest in the UK and well above the national average of 6.4 per cent. Those figures translate to approximately 25,000 people in Leicester with diabetes, with a further 6,000 who have not yet been diagnosed.

Founded in 2012, the Leicester Diabetes Centre is responsible for world-leading clinical research, evidence-based education and cutting-edge innovation. Based at Leicester General Hospital, and serving as a partnership and collaboration between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, it is now Europe’s largest diabetes facility, with strong links to local Clinical Commissioning Groups.

For more information about the study or to sign up to take part, email:  LDC.Trials@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or phone 0116 258 6439