Some of my most loyal customers are taking charge of their health despite having chronic metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. Organic Green Drinks are awesome for cleansing the system and starting the day off right. But some people need an extra assist. Enter the drug, semaglutide. If you’ve never heard of it, trust me, it’s going to blow up. By next year, I predict it’s going to be one of the hottest weight loss remedies for those who constantly struggle with weight management.
In June of last year, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had approved the anti-diabetic medication, Ozempic for weight management under the name Wegovy. Also known as semaglutide, the drug has a lot of potential customers in the U.S., where two-thirds of all adults are either obese or overweight. While Ozempic is meant to to be used longer term for control of diabetic's blood glucose levels (A1C), Wegovy is being used as a short term weight loss tool.
Because it’s easy to use and it seems to have mild side effects, hopefully semaglutide will be the magic pill that makes a huge dent in the obesity-diabetes epidemic. And you’ll never believe where the active ingredient of the drug comes from.
But first, let me tell you why semaglutide hits home for me. You see, my immensely talented graphic designer, Jean, was involved in the clinical trial for its effects on diabetes. Jean has used the drug for 7 years and swears by it. So when Jean told me about this wonder drug, I was determined to look into it and so far the results are promising. And for me to sing the praises of a pharmaceutical remedy is saying something because normally, I’m Miss Mother Nature.
Semaglutide: Sourced From A Monster
I admit that when Jean told me where the idea of semaglutide was first hatched, I didn’t believe her. So I verified her claim and now I owe her an apology. But you would be skeptical if you heard that the way the drug can change sugar metabolism is because of the venom of the Gila monster.
Gila monsters aren’t actually that scary looking. They’re really just small lizards that weigh 5 pounds at most. But in the reptile’s venom—not deadly to us but it wouldn’t tickle if you got bit—are hormones that regulate blood sugar.
OK, so semaglutide isn’t actually synthesized from Gila monster venom but rather from a synthetic analogue of a hormone in Gila monster venom called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1).
Glucagon is like the unpopular step-sister of insulin. Almost everybody knows that insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar. But it’s not the only one that does so. Glucagon actually raises blood sugar when blood sugar levels are too low.
According to Vox.com, doctors noticed that people who took semaglutide were not only better able to manage their blood sugar levels, they also lost weight. Obesity researchers got very excited over the results.
Semaglutide Drugs For Weight Loss
Semaglutide is the hormone molecule that goes by a few different brand names. Besides Ozempic (low-dose), there’s Wegovy, which is a once-a-week injectable, higher-dose weight-loss medication. And if you’re deathly afraid of needles, there’s an oral version called Rybelsus (did Big Pharma marketers run out of clever names?).
Harvard Health doesn’t come right out and say it but for best weight loss results, if you read between the lines, it seems that Wegovy works best for weight management.
Again, I want to stress that if your doctor puts you on a semaglutide drug, you’re not injecting Gila monster venom. What you’re injecting is a synthetic hormone that naturally is found in the digestive tract. Real GLP-1 that’s in your gut signals the pancreas to release more insulin, delays the emptying of the stomach which helps you feel full for longer, and signals the brain that hunger has been satisfied.
(To trick my brain into feeling satisfied, I don’t eat a regular breakfast. Instead, I drink water first thing in the morning, wait about 20 minutes then have 8-16 oz of Green Drink. To complete my “breakfast” I’ll have a plant-based protein shake an hour or two later. Hunger solved.)
Does Semaglutide Work?
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine from March of this year shows really promising results. Those that were randomly assigned the drug had an average weight reduction of nearly 15% after about 16 months. That’s impressive weight loss. A 300-pound individual would have lost about 45 pounds with those results. Not too shabby!
In even more recent trials, more than 50 percent of trial participants have lost 15 percent of their bodyweight and up to 40 percent of participants have slimmed down by 20 percent, according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Why Semaglutide Will Be A Weight Loss Success Story
Weight-loss and obesity medications are notoriously fraught with dangerous side effects. Considering the relatively mild side effects and efficacy of semaglutide, it’s easy to see why nutrition therapists (like yours truly), registered dieticians and doctors are excited about semaglutide.
Unfortunately, many health insurers and Medicare typically don’t pay for obesity medications. But to date, there’s never been a weight-loss drug that has shown such impressive results with so few side effects. Here’s hoping that those who have been struggling for years to get their weight down will finally have that magic pill they’ve been praying for.
Obesity isn’t simply a lifestyle disease. Several factors come into play such as gut dysbiosis* and genetics. People living with obesity should not be punished for their condition. In my humble opinion, semaglutide should be available—and affordable—for all. If you’re interested in semaglutide, talk to your doctor.
*dysbiosis: disruption of the composition and diversity of the microbiome