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4 Supplements that Work As Well As Ozempic?

The magic of the prescription peptide Ozempic has recently become popular due to its secondary benefit of weight loss.  Many celebrities, influencers and those looking to lose weight fast have turned to this medication for a quick fix. Ozempic is prescribed for those with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or those with metabolic syndrome.  It can help regulate blood glucose but can also result in weight loss.  Many tic tockers have claimed they’ve found supplements that work just as effective as this medication, but is that true?  Here I’m breaking down just what Ozempic does, the benefits and the downfalls, along with some potential natural alternatives that can also help with blood glucose and weight management.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is the brand name for a prescription medication known as semaglutide, which belongs to a class of medication known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like-peptide-1) receptor agonists.  A receptor agonist is a protein or substance that binds to a receptor and causes the same action as the substance that normally binds to that receptor.  GLP-1 is a naturally found hormone in the body, which helps regulate blood glucose levels by helping the pancreas produce insulin, which is how it helps manage type 2 diabetes.

How Does it Work for Weight Loss?

When it comes to weight loss, Ozempic helps induce satiety, by suppressing the appetite and inducing a feeling of being full by working on both the gut and brain. The result, you feel less hungry and eat less.  Ozempic is typically administered once per week via a subcutaneous injection, in the abdomen, thigh or upper arm.

Is Ozempic a Magic Weight Loss Solution?

Studies have shown that one of the side effects of taking Ozempic is weight loss, particularly in obese or overweight individuals.  In one study, people with obesity who used the drug in combination with lifestyle changes lost on average 34 pounds in 68-weeks.  Participants who didn’t take the medication lost about 6 pounds.  One thing that should be mentioned, is that this is not in a healthy population, therefore, if you’re only trying to lose a few pounds, this medication may not be right for you.  Following a calorie reduced diet and consistent exercise program will result in healthy and sustainable weight loss.

Additionally, it should be noted, that Ozempic causes weight loss – not just fat loss.  Ozempic can cause you to lose muscle mass, bone loss and lower your metabolic rate.  Thus, if you use Ozempic to accomplish a weight loss goal, and then go off it, you could experience a weight gain rebound, via an increase in appetite, and a lower metabolic rate.  In fact, your appetite post Ozempic, could be insatiable, worse than before you took it.

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Are There Any Natural Alternatives to Ozempic?

Ozempic’s unique action as a GLP-agonist works to increase GLP-1 levels in the body.  This mechanism, is biochemically complex, thus there are fewer supplements that work to increase GLP-1, versus the amount of supplements available to regulate blood glucose levels.   Here’s a few supplements to consider.

Chromium 

Chromium is an essential mineral needed in the diet.  It has commonly been used in the treatment of diabetes to reduce food intake, body weight, and increase glucose metabolism, particularly in those with type 2 diabetes.

Trivalent chromium, such as chromium picolinate has been shown to improve plasma membrane-based aspects of glucose transporter GLUT-4 translocation and glucose transport into fat cells via lowering plasma membrane cholesterol, and mediating the energy sensing AMPK pathways.

Supplement with chromium picolinate 30 minutes before meals to help manage blood glucose during meals.

Berberine

Berberine is a plant alkaloid extracted from many plants including Barberry, and has traditional uses in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for approximately the last 2500 years.  It has shown to be effective for improving blood glucose disposal, improving insulin efficiency, lipid metabolism and body composition.

Berberine has been shown to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism, working on both fat cells and muscle cells inducing a variety of metabolic effects consistent with AMPK activation.

This supplement enhances insulin secretion, stimulates glycolysis (breakdown of sugar), suppresses adipogenesis (production of fat cells), activating AMPK pathway and increasing glycokinase (glucose regulation) activity.

Berberine, reduces intestinal glucose absorption, and up-regulates the expression of GLUT-4 translocation, stimulating glucose up-take, and up-regulating glucagon like peptide (GLP-1) genes.

One issue with berberine is its lack of bioavailability.  Berberine does not absorb well by the gastrointestinal tract, therefore higher doses are required to elicit its blood glucose regulating abilities.  Take 1200 mg per day for optimal results.

How to Sugar Detox

R-Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant, that acts as a cofactor involved in energy generation in the mitochondria of the cell.  ALA has also been shown to reverse oxidative damage related to the effects of aging, assist in weight loss, appetite control and fat metabolism.

The metabolic action of ALA is mediated by activation of AMPK.  ALA can regulate insulin secretion and sensitivity, mimic caloric surplus causing appetite suppression and regulating lipid metabolism.

ALA down-regulates key lipogenic enzymes, inhibiting lipogenesis and reducing triglyceride accumulation through the activation of AMPK signaling pathway in fat cells.  ALA up-regulates adiponectin expression in WAT (white adipose tissue), a key hormone involved in insulin sensitivity.

To dose, take 600 mg of R-ALA before meals to help manage blood sugar levels.

Gymnema Sylvestre

Gymnema sylvestre is a plant used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, for its therapeutic benefits when it comes to controlling blood sugar. Gymnema sylvestre has shown positive effects on blood sugar homeostasis, controlling sugar cravings, and promoting regeneration of the pancreas.

Gymnema sylvestre’s mode of action is through the stimulation in insulin secretion from the pancreas and by delaying glucose absorption in the blood.  The main active component of Gymnema, gymnemic acids, has a chemical structure that fills the receptors in the taste buds but also in the intestines, preventing absorption of sugar. Gymnemic acids can also trigger insulin secretion and regeneration of islet cells of the pancreas enhancing up-take of glucose.

This process decreases glucose and fatty acid assimilation in the small intestine and interferes in the ability of receptors in mouth and intestine to the sensation of sweetness.  Gymnemic acids may down regulate AMPK-mediated gluconeogenesis.  Take 600 mg of Gymnema sylvestre standardized to 25% gymnemic acids.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

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