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Drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy have become immensely popular for their ability to help people with obesity lose weight. A new small study suggests they may also be useful in fighting cancer.

Prior research has shown that people with obesity have deficiencies in their “natural killer” cells, or NK cells — immune cells that help in combating cancer. In the new study, published Tuesday in the journal Obesity, researchers found that after a cohort of 20 people with obesity took semaglutide, the underlying ingredient in the diabetes drug Ozempic and the weight loss drug Wegovy, they had increased functioning in their NK cells.


This boost was not related to changes in participants’ body weight, suggesting the improvement in NK cell functioning is independent of the drug’s effect on weight loss, according to the study.

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