Is Semaglutide a weight loss miracle?
Last Updated on July 16, 2023 by Joseph Gut – thasso
July 16, 2023 – For months, it has been considered the slimming miracle elixir: the pharmac0logically active ingredient Semaglutide. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it mimics the action of human incretin glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). This improves insulin secretion and glycemic control, and reduces appetite and calorie intake. Semaglutide was developed by Novo Nordisk from 2012 as a longer-acting alternative to liraglutide. Semaglutide and tirzepatide appear to be more effective than current drugs in the treatment of obesity, but less effective than bariatric surgery. Semaglutide also moderates an increase in transaminases and certain radiological signs in non-alcoholic fatty hepatitis. Semaglutide also lowers blood levels of HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin).
Semaglutide was actually developed for the treatment of diabetes. For some time, however, more and more reports indicate that Semaglutid has helped many celebrities, including Elon Musk (Mister Tesla) in the fight against pounds, that is, in weight loss. As stories like this spread like wildfire on social media today, it often pays back to look behind the scenes and get to the bottom of the hype surrounding a product or event. Same here.
In fact, the active ingredient semaglutide is found in two drugs approved by different drug agencies, Ozempic (Semaglutide) and Wegovy (Semaglutide). Ozempic (Semaglutide) in the form of a pre-filled pen for injection has been approved At EMA since February 2018 for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in whom dietary changes and exercise do not sufficiently reduce high blood sugar levels. In contrast, the intended indication for Wegovy (Semaglutide) is obesity as a weekly injection in a pre-filled pen in obese or overweight individuals in addition to a low calory diet and increased physical activity for weight management, including weight loss.
So, is Semaglutide a miracle for weight loss? Does Semaglutide help, or does Ozempic (Semaglutide) and especially Wegovy (Semaglutide) help with weight loss according to their indication for weight loss? This has been impressively confirmed in two recent controlled studies with Wegovy (Semaglutide) and the obesity indication. The results of the STEP1 study have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). It involved 1,961 obese but non-diabetic adults. They received either semaglutide 2.4 mg subcutaneously once weekly or placebo in addition to lifestyle modifications and behavioral therapy training every four weeks for 68 weeks (18 sessions over 68 weeks). Participants in the verum group lost a median of 14.9% weight compared to a 2.4% decrease in the placebo group. On average, it was 15.3 kilograms (2.6 kilograms on placebo). Data from the STEP3 study published in JAMA was apparently even better: 611 people
who were overweight (BMI ≥ 27 kg/m2) or obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) but without diabetes participated, 81% of whom were women . 505 participated until the end of the study after 68 weeks. All patients followed a calory-restricted diet for the first eight weeks and received 30 sessions of intensive behavioral therapy over the course of the study. Two-thirds of subjects (after dose increase) administered an additional 2.4 mg of semaglutide subcutaneously once weekly, while one-third injected placebo. Patients taking semaglutide lost up to 17 kilograms.
However, it should also be emphasized here that both drugs strongly interfere with the physiology of the body, which is not surprising given their pharmacological “mechanism of action” as a GLP-1 receptor agonist. The range of side effects of Semaglutide is wide. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach and abdominal pain, and constipation. In some cases, skin reactions at the injection site, increased amylase and lipase levels, gallstones, exhaustion syndrome (fatigue), dizziness and taste disturbances have occurred. However, serious to life-threatening side effects such as inflammation of the pancreas, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), kidney problems including kidney failure, thyroid tumors and cancer, visual disturbances (diabetic retinopathy) and severe allergic reactions may also occur.
Interactions can also occur. If Semaglutide treatment is combined with insulin therapy, the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) increases. Since the active ingredient affects gastric motility and ensures that stomach contents empty more slowly into the intestine, drugs taken by mouth may have a delayed effect. Contraindications include Semaglutide should not be given if there is a family history of thyroid cancer or if the patient has it himself. Similarly, type II multiple endocrine neoplasms are a contraindication. In case of hypersensitivity to Semaglutide, the active substance should also not be administered.
Overall, you should never take Semaglutide without medical advice. Despite the social media hype, for your own safety you should refrain from obtaining Semaglutide on the internet and taking it uncontrolled. Moreover, the active substance Semaglutide is still associated with too many so far unknown risks, including the fact that nothing is known about the expected risks in patients/individuals carrying genetic variants of the GLP-1 receptor.
Watch a short sequence on Semaglutide here:
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