Ozempic: you should know what it is and what it does. Part One.

The growingly popular weight loss drug Ozempic and many like it are classified as GLP-1 agonists.

GLP-1 stands for Glucagon Like Peptide – 1.

Agonist means it is an artificial substance (synthetic) that produces the same action as a natural molecule in our body. In this case, our natural GLP-1.

GLP-1 is commonly referred to as a gut hormone but also a neurotransmitter (NT).

IMO, it’s the drug’s neurotransmitter behavior, effects, and actions that make it a very dangerous drug.

The difference between a hormone and a neurotransmitter is subtle but vital.

A hormone is secreted from an endocrine gland, such as the pancreas, which secretes insulin, and the thyroid, which secretes thyroid hormones. And the adrenals secrete cortisol and adrenaline, to name a few.

Hormones are sent throughout the body to relay messages to receptors on corresponding cells.

A neurotransmitter is a molecule made in the nervous system to send messages to and from the brain.

GLP-1 acts as a hormone in the gut, a neurotransmitter in the brain, and the vagus nerve that sends information from the gut to the pancreas and the brain.

GLP-1 is made in the brain for different uses and actions and also made in the gut for the gut to signal the first phase of insulin secretion, which makes up 70% of our total insulin response from food.

GLP-1 in our brain responds to signaling from other hormones, such as ghrelin, our hunger hormone, and leptin, our satiation hormone.

Normally, as insulin, ghrelin, and leptin signals change as food is detected in the gut, signaling GLP-1, the combination slows our digestion, creates eating satisfaction, and causes us to stop eating.

GLP-1 works locally in each area and only has a 2-3 minute lifespan in our blood, limiting “crosstalk” or the gut’s direct influence on the brain.

Ozempic and other semaglutide medications are synthetic GLP-1 hormone/neurotransmitters in very high, unnatural levels that build over time, as the half-life of these medications is seven days.

As we flood the system with synthetic high doses of this long-lasting medication, it artificially stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin, resulting in artificially lowering blood sugar and stressing the pancreas to the point of enlargement and cases of acute pancreatitis.

When people begin taking insulin, their overall mortality risk increases significantly. I see no reason why this whipping of the pancreas to hypersecrete insulin would not create the same risk.

Since the synthetic GLP-1 can remain in the bloodstream for weeks, the brain is bombarded with GLP-1. 

This unnaturally high level of GLP-1 in the brain tells it and other hormones that the person is extremely full, like after a very big meal. 

This signal is so strong that the brain slows gut emptying and digestion and decreases appetite to the point of nausea, vomiting, and gut distress, resulting in an aversion to eating and food and consequent weight loss.

Not just weight loss but muscle loss. Clinical trials show 38-40% of the weight lost using Ozempic was lean body tissue, and data from medical weight loss centers show up to 50% is muscle. This is VERY BAD!

When we bombard the entire body with this drug, we bypass the natural food response and regulatory mechanisms, which causes the normal, healthy pathways to atrophy and dysregulate, causing potentially permanent damage.

The Vagus Nerve is the main parasympathetic nervous system regulatory pathway.

When the parasympathetic response and Vagus Nerve are dysregulated, the sympathetic nervous system (stress response) goes unchecked and unbalanced.

This dangerous shift impairs healing and repair and promotes an exaggerated stress response. 

This imbalance also interferes with skeletal muscle repair, leading to prolonged muscle catabolism.

Unlike the loss of muscle volume seen in extended fasting due to water loss, which rebounds quickly, the catabolic breakdown of muscle caused by the unhindered sympathetic action breaks down protein and fibers or, at least, stops them from fully repairing when damaged through daily living and use.

If a person loses 50 lbs on this medication, 20-5 lbs is muscle. When weight gain occurs after discontinuing the medication, 100% is fat. That’s a dooming trade-off.

You can’t make an educated choice without education or an informed choice without all the information.

This is the first of many posts from my research diving into the metabolic impact of these GLP-1 medications. It’s scary, folks. 

It is a huge, very intricate topic that will take time to understand. 

Way too much than I can fit in one post. So please keep that in mind. One step at a time.

We can do better!

Dr. Don


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