October 3, 2023


Healthy Life

All Concerning the New Weight Loss Medication

7 min read

Man sitting in front of coffee table preparing Semaglutide Ozempic injection.America and far of the industrialized world has an weight problems drawback. The setting is obesogenic. The meals is scrumptious and engineered by PhDs to focus on and titillate our mind reward programs. The parts are huge. Half of our waking hours are dedicated to sitting slumped over in a chair staring into an digital machine—for work and for pleasure. We eat carbs we don’t want, use seed oils in portions our our bodies haven’t tailored to dealing with, and largely keep away from an important meals our ancestors advanced consuming: animal protein. The most affordable meals is the worst and the healthiest is the most costly.

It’s a giant mess, and many individuals resist the dietary and life-style adjustments required to repair the problem. It’s no surprise many individuals have been hoping for a tablet or remedy that fixes the weight problems drawback. 

Over the previous couple of years, scientists seem to have discovered a category of medicines that may assist: GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide (offered as Ozempic® and Wegovy®) and liraglutide (aka Victoza® and Saxenda®). Hollywood celebrities and vogue fashions are taking these medicine in huge portions. Silicon Valley tech circles are taking them—Elon Musk, most famously, is on semaglutide. In brief, nearly everybody with the cash and entry and weight to lose is utilizing semaglutide and associated medicine to remain skinny. I do know a number of docs who prescribe it for obese sufferers.

Initially designed as diabetes medicine, these brokers mimic the results of glucagon-like peptide-1, an incretin hormone the physique releases while you eat meals. GLP-1 has two main results:

  • It stimulates the discharge of insulin and inhibits the discharge of glucagon. 
  • It slows down gastric motility and the passage of meals by the intestine, maintaining you full for longer. 

GLP-1 is a hormone that “indicators” fullness. There are all kinds of optimistic downstream results as effectively:

  • Decrease glucose manufacturing
  • Extra glucose uptake by muscle mass
  • Elevated insulin sensitivity 
  • Decrease blood strain
  • Improved endothelial perform

The brand new weight reduction medicine bind to the receptors that usually work together with GLP-1 and elicit the identical impact because the hormone itself. 

Do the weight problems medicine work for shedding weight?

Sure. They work. Out of all the burden loss medicine the trade has pushed and examined and tried, the GLP-1 agonists really assist folks drop extra pounds.

A current paper examined semaglutide for 2 years in overweight folks. The typical beginning physique weight was 106 kilos, or 233 kilos. Common beginning BMI was 38. Most have been ladies. One group obtained the drug, the opposite obtained placebo. Each teams have been recommended to observe a “behavioral intervention,” which in all probability means train and different typical issues.

By 104 weeks, the semaglutide group had misplaced a mean of 15.2 p.c of their body weight. The placebo group had misplaced a mean of two.6 p.c.

Now, this didn’t make them skinny. On the finish, most have been nonetheless obese or overweight. 15 p.c of 233 kilos is about 35 kilos. That’s a terrific enchancment, nevertheless it’s not sufficient to get you to a traditional physique weight. Moreover, there was a serious plateau of weight reduction within the semaglutide group round 68 weeks. They didn’t actually lose any extra weight after that (as a bunch), they usually even began to barely achieve by the top of the research. It was a really minor uptick, however an uptick nonetheless.

Semaglutide wasn’t sufficient for them. They have been nonetheless principally obese, and the burden wasn’t persevering with to come back off—and it could have been beginning to come again on.

However these medicine aren’t nearly weight reduction. There are different helpful results, too:

  • Decreased blood strain.
  • Fewer cravings for junk meals.
  • Decreased main cardiovascular occasions (coronary heart assaults, strokes, and so on).
  • Higher glucose tolerance.
  • Decreased visceral fats.

So these weight problems medicine additionally enhance different well being markers. That’s nice and means that the results when you’re taking the drug are principally optimistic.


I see some potential downsides, nonetheless.

Potential Downsides of GLP-1 Agonists

  • You in all probability should take it for all times. A current paper adopted a bunch of people that had taken semaglutide for over a 12 months and misplaced loads of physique weight within the course of. Half of them continued taking the med and the opposite half obtained placebo injections. This went on for 48 weeks. Those that have been nonetheless on the sauce stored a lot of the weight off. Those that went off the drug rapidly regained a lot of the weight and misplaced nearly all the different well being advantages (blood sugar, blood lipids, blood strain, and so on.).
  • It’s costly. At the least as of now, the month-to-month price of a GLP-1 agonist subscription is $1500. Insurance coverage could cowl a lot of that, however it’s a must to be severely obese or wait til these medicine are prescribed for gentle obese—however even then, assuming you will have insurance coverage, somebody’s paying.
  • Liraglutide has been proven to extend adipogenesis, the creation of recent fats cells, no less than in mice. Even because the rodents misplaced weight, they elevated the variety of fats cells of their physique. It is a course of that usually happens in childhood. It’s one cause why childhood weight problems is so onerous to beat and so typically results in grownup weight problems. You could have a ton of “further” fats cells from while you have been overweight as a child, so filling them up turns into simpler and simpler. If liraglutide or semaglutide additionally enhance the creation of recent fats cells, what occurs while you cease taking it? What occurs in 5 or ten years? Do these “empty” fats cells rapidly refill? It’s an attention-grabbing query we merely don’t know the reply to. But.
  • GLP-1 agonists enhance resting coronary heart price, with the longer-lasting variations like injectable semaglutide (the commonest used for weight reduction) resulting in sustained and long-lasting rises in resting coronary heart price. Whether or not this portends a rise in well being points down the street stays to be seen, nevertheless it’s usually accepted {that a} increased resting coronary heart price is a foul factor.
  • GLP-1 agonists trigger nausea and diarrhea. They’re really the commonest unintended effects folks complain about, they usually could even contribute to the disinterest in meals folks report. It’s onerous to be hungry while you really feel like throwing up.
  • GLP-1 agonists trigger lack of lean mass. This isn’t distinctive to GLP-1 agonist-related weight reduction; it’s typical everytime you drop extra pounds, however anecdotally, it doesn’t appear to occur when folks drop extra pounds following a Primal approach of consuming and exercising. This might doubtlessly be prevented by merely emphasizing protein and ensuring to elevate heavy issues slightly than counting on the semaglutide to do all of the work.
  • The advantages stage off after about 68 weeks. They may proceed when you bump up the dose, however that will even enhance the possibility of unintended effects like nausea, diarrhea, and any points associated to elevated adipogenesis.
  • We don’t know what we don’t know. These are pretty new medicine and we don’t have any good long run (10 to twenty years) knowledge.

My Closing Tackle GLP-1 Agonists

It’s not going to repair weight problems. All of the research discover that it helps customers shed vital physique weight however that there’s a lull within the loss. It’s not sufficient. It’s doesn’t get you previous weight problems and obese into true leanness. To try this, you even have to handle different elements of your food plan and life-style to actually make the adjustments stick and prolong them into perpetuity.

I do assume it may assist folks stick with a greater food plan. Whereas the fanfare focuses on the truth that you possibly can “eat no matter you need” and nonetheless drop extra pounds, it’s additionally been proven to cut back cravings for junk meals and starches. A wise use of this drug could be to pair it with a wholesome low-carb food plan primarily based on entire meals that emphasizes animal protein. Entire meals so that you’re getting the micronutrients you want and protein so that you’re getting sufficient protein to stave off muscle loss.

Finally, most individuals studying this don’t want semaglutide injections. You’re already prepared to do the work and make everlasting adjustments to your food plan, life-style, and train habits that set you up for long run success. However thousands and thousands of individuals aren’t. Whereas I’ve some main reservations about the long run results of those medicine—in spite of everything, I strongly suspect there’s no free lunch with regards to stuff like this—they might be helpful on internet to individuals who’d in any other case by no means contemplate altering their food plan and life-style.


Concerning the Creator

Mark Sisson is the founding father of Mark’s Each day Apple, godfather to the Primal meals and life-style motion, and the New York Instances bestselling creator of The Keto Reset Food plan. His newest ebook is Keto for Life, the place he discusses how he combines the keto food plan with a Primal life-style for optimum well being and longevity. Mark is the creator of quite a few different books as effectively, together with The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the expansion of the primal/paleo motion again in 2009. After spending three a long time researching and educating of us on why meals is the important thing element to attaining and sustaining optimum wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food firm that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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