Diabetes and obesity, two of the most prevalent metabolic diseases, are associated with many severe complications. Although affected individuals know that weight loss of only 5-15% of their current body weight can improve their condition significantly, there remain many challenges in losing weight and maintaining sustainable weight loss.
Given the rollout and increasingly widespread use of a promising anti-diabetes and obesity drug – Ozempic – the prospect of prompt, efficient, and sustainable therapy for diabetes and obesity is brighter and more encouraging than ever.
This article informs you of everything you need to know about Ozempic, how Ozempic helps you lose weight, and the future of treating diabetes and obesity.
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What Is Ozempic?
GLP-1: An Incretin That Decreases Blood Glucose
Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a peptide hormone produced and secreted primarily in the intestine and specific neurons in the central nervous system.
Like any other hormone, GLP-1 secretion is only stimulated in response to a specific condition – in this case, food consumption.
As an insulinotropic incretin, GLP-1 starts to produce its effects after eating, as it can decrease blood sugar levels by augmenting insulin release.
Insulin, Glucagon, and Metabolism
The human body’s metabolism relies on two vital hormones – insulin and glucagon – to balance the blood glucose levels (glucose homeostasis) and prevent any irregularity, like hyperglycemia (too much blood glucose) or hypoglycemia (too little blood glucose).
Typically, insulin and glucagon are secreted to an adequate degree in the pancreas by the pancreatic beta and alpha cells, respectively. These two peptide hormones, when acting normally, are like the equilibrium state of a scale: insulin lowers blood glucose, whereas glucagon raises it, and blood glucose remains constant within the average range.
However, in some people, insulin cannot be released sufficiently or does not work as efficiently as expected, leading to the accumulation of blood sugar in the bloodstream. Such a build-up of sugar in the blood over time may result in irreversible damage to the blood vessels, nerves, eyes, kidneys, and many other body organs.
Unfortunately, this systemic damage is a common problem and is widely known as another somewhat concerning term – diabetes.
The Rollout of Treatment Utilizing GLP-1
On this account, scientists are finding a way to increase the level of GLP-1 to normalize insulin in the body, preventing the build-up of blood sugar and the onset of diabetes.
Among the potential pharmaceuticals that intervene in GLP-1, semaglutide, widely known as Ozempic, has surprised the scientific community due to its superiority.
Ozempic Acts as a GLP-1 Receptor Agonist
Ozempic is an anti-diabetes and obesity pharmaceutical that belongs to the GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) class.
As a GLP-1 agonist, Ozempic mimics the actions of the endogenous GLP-1 hormone in the body to stimulate insulin release. This mechanism is why Ozempic and other GLP-1RAs are known as GLP-1 analogs or incretin mimetics.
According to the American Diabetes Association, metformin remains the preferred first-line treatment option for treating type 2 diabetes. However, adding a GLP-1 agonist like Ozempic to the prescription should be considered in patients who cannot take metformin due to contraindication, intolerance, or disqualification.
Recently, Ozempic has been recognized as a pharmaceutical for weight management due to its beneficial effects on weight loss and maintenance. So, like filling two needs with one deed, the “all-in-one” Ozempic represents an optimistic, up-and-coming measure for eliminating metabolic diseases and regaining optimal health for people.
How Does Ozempic Help You Lose Weight?
According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Ozempic for weight loss is associated with the following mechanisms:
Ozempic Delays Gastric Emptying
Gastric emptying refers to the process in which the stomach empties and delivers digested food to the intestine. GLP-1RA treatment, of which Ozempic can be an example, can delay gastric emptying within the first hour after a meal (postprandial period). This delay in stomach activity means food remains longer in your stomach, and satiety lasts longer.
Ozempic Reduces Hunger and Appetite
Ozempic and other GLP-1RAs have actions outside of the stomach as well. In the central nervous system, GLP-1 receptors rest in the hypothalamus, which regulates food intake. It has been found that the administration of a GLP-1RA resulted in reduced feelings of hunger in individuals with obesity.
The effect was associated with the increased connectivity between the nucleus of the solitary tract and the hypothalamus. In addition, GLP-1RAs can access and intervene in specific brain areas responsible for appetite regulation.
Ozempic Increases Satiety and Prevents Overeating
GLP-1 is a physiological factor affecting satiety as it is a neurotransmitter signaling satiety in the brain. In other words, GLP-1 signals us when we have consumed enough food and are satiated. In addition, GLP-1 directly stimulates specific neurons (POMC/CART) and indirectly inhibits some neuropeptides (NPY and AgRP) to increase measures of satiety.
Ozempic Lowers Preference for Energy-dense Foods
Ozempic and other GLP-1RAs can reduce preference for energy-dense foods, like fatty foods. We all know that the more energy we consume, the more carbs are metabolized into glucose, and the more likely sugar accumulates in the bloodstream. For this reason, Ozempic should be for patients who find it difficult to abstain from fatty foods.
Evidence for Ozempic as the Treatment of Diabetes and Obesity
Ozempic for Diabetes
According to the Journal of Pharmacy Technology, Ozempic (semaglutide) was under experimentation in multiple clinical trials, all of which showed superior efficacy compared to other anti-diabetes pharmaceuticals.
Specifically, in 9 SUSTAIN trials that used low doses of semaglutide (0.5 and 1.0 mg), the HbA1c levels (hemoglobin A1c; a measurement for average blood glucose, with 4-5.6% being the normal range) were reduced significantly.
Those participants with HbA1c exceeding the normal range at over 8% saw a reduction scores from -1.1 to -1.9% after 30 weeks of 0.5 mg semaglutide. On the other hand, 1.0 mg semaglutide resulted in up to -2.2% reduction in HbA1c within a similar duration of the treatment.
In the 2 PIONEER trials that used very high doses of semaglutide (3-14 mg, a reduction in HbA1c levels was also recorded, although at a lower efficacy compared to the regimen with lower doses. This disparity suggests that lower doses of semaglutide may be more effective for a broader range of patients.
|Study||Duration (weeks)||Treatment||Mean Baseline HbA1c||Change in Mean HbA1c (%)|
|SUSTAIN 1||30||0.5 mg semaglutide
1.0 mg semaglutide
|8.05%||0.5 mg semaglutide: −1.45
1.0 mg semaglutide: −1.55
|SUSTAIN 2||56||0.5 mg semaglutide
1.0 mg semaglutide
|8.1%||0.5 mg semaglutide: −1.3
1.0 mg semaglutide: −1.6
|SUSTAIN 3||56||1.0 mg semaglutide||8.3%||1.0 mg semaglutide: −1.5|
|SUSTAIN 4||30||0.5 mg semaglutide
1.0 mg semaglutide
|8.17%||0.5 mg semaglutide: −1.21
1.0 mg semaglutide: −1.64
|SUSTAIN 5||30||0.5 mg semaglutide
1.0 mg semaglutide
|8.4%||0.5 mg semaglutide: −1.4
1.0 mg semaglutide: −1.8
|SUSTAIN 6||104||0.5 mg semaglutide
1.0 mg semaglutide
|8.7%||0.5 mg semaglutide: −1.1
1.0 mg semaglutide: −1.4
|SUSTAIN 7||40||0.5 mg semaglutide
1.0 mg semaglutide
|8.2%||0.5 mg semaglutide: −1.5
1.0 mg semaglutide: −1.8
|SUSTAIN JP PTD||56||0.5 mg semaglutide
1.0 mg semaglutide
|8.1%||0.5 mg semaglutide: −1.7
1.0 mg semaglutide: −2.0
|SUSTAIN JP Mono||30||0.5 mg semaglutide
1.0 mg semaglutide
|8.1%||0.5 mg semaglutide: −1.9
1.0 mg semaglutide: −2.2
|PIONEER 1||26||3 mg oral semaglutide
7 mg oral semaglutide
14 mg oral semaglutide
|8.0%||3 mg semaglutide: −0.8
7 mg semaglutide: −1.3
14 mg semaglutide: −1.5
|PIONEER 2||52||14 mg oral semaglutide||N/A||14 mg semaglutide: −1.4|
Efficacy of Semaglutide Across the Phase 3 Clinical Trials
Ozempic for Weight Loss
Research by the New England Journal of Medicine
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, once-weekly semaglutide at a dose of 2.4 mg in adjunct with lifestyle intervention resulted in a sustained reduction in body weight after 68 weeks.
Specifically, in nearly 2,000 adults with obesity who underwent a 68-week treatment with once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide 2.4 mg, the mean change in body weight from baseline to the end of the trial was −14.9%.
The semaglutide group was likelier than the placebo group to experience at least 5, 10, and 15% weight loss. Moreover, compared to the placebo group, the semaglutide group experienced a more remarkable change in body weight from baseline to week 68 – 15.3 kg as opposed to 2.6 kg.
Surprisingly, compared to those who received a placebo, semaglutide-treated participants showed more extensive improvements in their physical functioning and cardiometabolic risk factors.
The FDA Approves Ozempic (Wegovy) for Chronic Weight Management
Ozempic was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 04, 2021, as a treatment option for chronic weight management.
Thereby, the federal agency stated that individuals who are obese or overweight and have at least one weight-related disorder might use the injectable Ozempic (2.4 mg once weekly) for chronic weight management.
This subcutaneous injection was the first FDA-approved drug for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight since 2014.
The medication is recommended for chronic weight control in people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 27 kg/m2 and at least one weight-related condition, as well as in people with a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2.
Ozempic Safety and Side Effects
Is Ozempic Safe to Use in the Long Term?
Ozempic can be used for as long as it helps you lose or maintain weight and has no undesirable side effects. According to the FDA, Ozempic’s safety and efficacy were studied in four 68-week trials. Therefore, Ozempic should be safe to use for up to 68 weeks.
However, keep in mind that the safe and effective duration of the pharmaceutical may co-occur with mild to moderate side effects. Accordingly, Ozempic dosage must be increased gradually over 16 to 20 weeks until you reach the maximum dose of 2.4 mg once weekly to reduce side effects.
Ozempic Side Effects
You may expect these mild side effects to occur:
- Mild tachycardia (faster heart rate)
- Dyspepsia (indigestion)
- Injection-site pruritus (itchiness) and erythema (reddening of the skin)
- Hypoglycemia (very rare)
Research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that these adverse effects typically result in overall low discontinuation of the pharmaceutical at around 10%. Therefore, please be noted that taking Ozempic precisely as prescribed is vital to reduce the possibility of unwanted outcomes.
Contraindications to Ozempic and other GLP-1 agonists include:
- Hypersensitivity and pregnancy
- Severe gastrointestinal diseases
- Thyroid diseases
- Endocrine diseases
- Acute pancreatitis
What Can You Expect When Using Ozempic?
How Much Time Does Ozempic Take to Show the Results?
You will have lost at least 5% of your starting weight by week 12 of being on a therapeutic dose of Ozempic.
How Much Body Weight Can You Lose With Ozempic?
Several studies have shown that Ozempic may even reduce weight by up to 15%.
Other Benefits of Ozempic: Waist Circumference and Cardiovascular Effects
Besides its beneficial effects on controlling blood sugar and reducing body weight, Ozempic can also reduce waist circumference and improve cardiovascular health. Specifically, Ozempic was associated with a significant reduction in waist circumference (up to –13.54 cm) and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
On this account, obese individuals with cardiovascular risk factors may find Ozempic more appropriate as an alternative to other weight loss drugs.
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Recent Findings in Ozempic for Weight Loss
In reality, the demand for semaglutide for weight loss is so high that Novo Nordisk, the company that manufactures Wegovy (another name for Ozempic for weight loss), has often been unable to meet the demand for orders. The problem has been so pronounced that online users have emerged to share information about finding the drug in stock.
But Novo Nordisk has more to come after Wegovy. The company has released the oral version of semaglutide, marketed as Rybelsus. Judging by the growing interest of a wide range of enthusiasts and the continuous effort of scientists in semaglutide, it is likely that an unparalleled revolution in weight-loss drugs is about to take place.
Bottom Line: What Is the Future of Treating Diabetes and Obesity?
There is an urgent need for pharmaceutical methods like Ozempic to treat diabetes and promote weight loss in some people due to the risk that these diseases pose to public health and the difficulties of managing blood sugar and achieving weight loss.
Nevertheless, the usage of drugs for treating diabetes and obesity is still limited, despite their accessibility. In addition, inadequate training of healthcare professionals, safety concerns, and delayed recognition of obesity as a disease by public health and medical organizations can all be obstacles to starting treatment.
Ozempic is gaining prominence in the traditional medical and biohacking communities as a revolutionary drug for weight loss. Research on additional safe and effective weight-loss medications is being conducted. Contact us for more information about Ozempic.
Miles, K., Kerr, J. (2018). Semaglutide for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Ard, J., Fitch, A., Fruh, S., Herman, L. (2021). Weight Loss and Maintenance Related to the Mechanism of Action of Glucagon-like Peptide 1 Receptor Agonists. National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Wilding, J. et al. (2021). Once-weekly Semaglutide in Adults With Overweight or Obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine.
FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. (2021). The United States Food and Drug Administration.
Monaco, K. (2021). Weight-loss Drug Wegovy Exceeded Expectations, and Supply. Medpage Today.
Collins, L., Costello, R. (2022). Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists. National Center for Biotechnology Information.
If you have questions about Ozempic for weight loss or any health problems discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
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