My Year of Healthy week 8
Ozempic and Wegovy...Some Basic Facts
I recently gained a better understanding of the new medications being offered to treat obesity and was inspired to share some of the basic science behind them.
Julia Belluz’s article on Vox.com included many of the controversies surrounding these medications (side effects, ethical consequences, yet to be determined long term affects and effectiveness) but for my purpose I am just sharing what they are and what they do. (With any new pharmaceutical, the long term effects and risks for taking it are unknown ) Before the science… Many of us, who have to work hard to stay in shape, have always wanted a “faster metabolism” like our “naturally thin” friends. But maybe, what we really wanted was for our hormones to work like theirs. Hormones are what the new science is all about. If you think of your body as a machine, these new medications are tools (synthetic hormones) that get your body to work like the hormones in the body of your “skinny friend”. These medications are the result of researchers treating obesity as a medical condition. They are synthetic hormones that result in weight loss. The science… The What- The new class of obesity drugs — referred to as “GLP-1-based,” since they contain synthetic versions of the human hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 — semaglutide, currently sold by Novo Nordisk under the brand names Wegovy and Ozempic GLP-1-based drug tirzepatide, sold as Mounjaro by Eli Lilly, tirzepatide, which was approved for diabetes in 2022 and is now being used off-label for obesity tirzepatide, which features both GLP-1 and a synthetic version of another similar hormone called GIP The How... According to Julia Belluz from Vox.com,
"Researchers still don’t know the precise mechanism by which the drugs work, but they believe it has to do with mimicking the actions of hormones and their impact on the brain. Hormones are the body’s traveling messengers: Manufactured in one area, they move to another to deliver messages through receptors. The gut makes dozens of hormones, including GLP-1.
When we eat, GLP-1 is unleashed primarily in the gut (in addition to the brain stem) and stimulates the pancreas to make more insulin, lowering blood sugar and sending a signal to the brain that we’ve had enough food, which then curbs appetite.
This hormone is produced by your digestive system in response to eating food. GLP-1 targets areas of the brain that help to regulate appetite, especially after eating. It also slows how quickly the stomach empties, which makes you feel fuller for longer. Drugs like semaglutide and tirzepatide contain a synthetic version of our native GLP-1 So far, both semaglutide and tirzepatide have led to weight loss results rivaling bariatric surgery
(for some people, they do not work for everyone)
Wegovy is a human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist (GLP-1 analog) - it mimics the action of GLP-1 produced naturally by the gut, and to a lesser extent the pancreas and nervous system." Would I take these?Why? Before I answer, I do want to say that I think it is AMAZING that researchers and scientists are learning more about how the human body works in relation to weight and obesity. Scientists and researchers viewing obesity as a medical condition could eventually help many people. As we know from our naturally “skinny friends”, not all bodies work the same. That being said, I would not take these medications personally because they are new with so much still unknown about them. I worry about the side effects when on them and what happens to your body after you stop taking them. I believe in using tools for wellness but prefer implementing healthy habits and lifestyle changes over medication. I do think many overweight people have insulin resistance and this needs to be addressed first in order to lose weight, but it can and has been done without pharmaceuticals. I have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of formerly obese individuals with weight loss success stories in Facebook groups and other online communities who all achieved their goals after adding Fasting into their lifestyle.
Fasting is a FREE tool that can improve how your hormones and your body work together. It addresses insulin resistance and is worth considering for people that are feeling unhealthy as a result of their obesity. Many of the obese people who found success with fasting had failed before when just eating healthy, drinking more water and exercising more. I think the relationship between your body and how your hormones are functioning is significant and for many fasting helps improve this. Another FREE tool for wellness is quality sleep. Better sleep has a positive impact on hormones and unfortunately achieving it is easier said than done. Having issues myself with the quality of my slumber I hope to figure this out during My Year of Healthy. As always, Fill Up On Healthy and have less room for the other stuff. Regards, Paula Here are some books I recommend that explain the science behind Fasting:
The Obesity Code by Jason Fung
Fast Like a Girl Dr Mindy Pelz
Delay Don't Deny by Gin Stephens
Fast Feast Repeat by Gin Stephens