A Deeper Look at Hollywood’s Newest Weight Loss Drug

In this video, Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD, of the UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles, breaks down the newest weight loss drug for the stars, semaglutide (branded as Ozempic for type 2 diabetes treatment and Wegovy for weight managment).

Amid a surge in demand for the GLP-1 agonist, Li discusses a supply shortage, weight-loss misconceptions, and an NIH study that could change the way we think about dieting.

The following is a transcript of her remarks:

Ozempic, or Wegovy, is a new class of medication that belongs to GLP-1 agonists. It was first developed as a medication to treat type 2 diabetes, and now we know it also has an indication for weight loss.

GLP-1 agonist is actually an endogenous hormone. When we eat, particularly with protein-rich food, the level of our endogenous GLP-1 goes up, it creates satiation or fullness, and that is the reason we’re giving ourselves additional injections — to enhance the effect of endogenous hormones.

With that being said, it is a higher dose of our own hormones. It has been shown to be safe from all the experience we have treating type 2 diabetes. As to using it as a weight loss drug, it has been on the market for over 2 years, and it has been generally safe as well.

Requests for GLP-1 agonists as weight loss drugs have significantly increased. That’s because over 70% of us have a weight problem, and we all also struggle to find an easy solution. So, this is just another tool in the box. We have seen this kind of enthusiasm in the past for any new drug that can be potentially helpful for weight management. There’s no exception for GLP-1 agonists.

With the supply chain issues together with the new indication [for weight loss], there has been a shortage of this class of drug across the board on the market. That is just fanning the issue of people really trying very hard to get this drug. It may also make people feel that this is more of a miracle than anything else.

My passion is to help everyone not only manage weight, but have a better life and feel better about themselves. We all need to invest in our own health, and the…

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