Orlistat is an inhibitor of lipase which splits triglycerides into free fatty acides and glycerol. This drug, by inhibiting hydrolysis of triglycerides, is the cause of significant loss of fat in the faeces. 13 obese and 15 nonobese subjects were examined. Obese subjects received orlistat (Xenical, F. Hoffmann La Roche Ltd, Switzerland) 3 x 120 mg/d. Treatment with orlistat for 16 weeks was followed by a significant fall of BMI and MAP, insulinemia, insulin/glucose ratio, leptinemia, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol and 25-OH-D concentration respectively. Orlistat did not influence significantly serum LDL-cholesterol concentration but unexpectedly increased plasma levels of folic acid, vitamin B12 and NPY.
Conclusions: (1) Monitoring of plasma 25-OH-D levels in obese patients on orlistat therapy seems to be mandatory. (2) In spite of significant changes (in opposite direction) in leptinemia and serum NPY level observed in obese subjects treated with orlistat, presence of a functional relationship between these hormones could not be confirmed.