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How Does Semaglutide Work? Exploring a Popular Weight Loss Solution

September 4, 2023

Semaglutide has become the talk of the medical community recently due to its effectiveness as a weight loss solution. More and more patients looking to get in better shape and improve their health are turning to semaglutide. But how does semaglutide work? What makes this drug so effective in helping patients shed pounds? Continue reading as we explore this popular weight loss solution and answer those questions:

What is Semaglutide?

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Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, or GLP-1 RAs. Instead of relying solely on willpower and significant lifestyle changes, semaglutide treats obesity as a chronic metabolic disease. Those who combine semaglutide with diet and exercise are often more successful in losing weight.

Semaglutide was initially designed and used to treat patients with diabetes. One of the roles of GLP-1 is to signal to the body to produce additional insulin. Healthcare providers have used semaglutide for more than 15 years to treat type 2 diabetes.

In 2021, the FDA approved semaglutide for the treatment of chronic weight management, becoming the first drug since Saxenda in 2014 to be approved for such. Approximately 70% of American adults have obesity or are overweight.

How Does Semaglutide Work?

Semaglutide as a weight loss solution works by mimicking the GLP-1 Hormone, which is naturally released into the gastrointestinal tract as a response to eating. In addition to producing more insulin which lowers blood sugar levels, GLP-1 interacts with the part of the brain responsible for appetite. By doing so, it helps to reduce appetite and makes you feel full, often helping patients consume fewer calories and thus lose weight.

Semaglutide slows down how quickly the stomach empties which can often help patients feel full for longer, helping to limit the number of excessive calories consumed. Numerous studies have shown semaglutide to be effective when used long-term to help people lose weight and keep it off.

Success of Semaglutide as a Weight Loss Solution

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Studies continue to show the success of semaglutide as a weight loss solution. A 2021 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients who took semaglutide lost on average 14.9% of their body weight over a period of 68 weeks. The Semaglutide Treatment Effect in People With Obesity (STEP) trials have shown semaglutide to be effective in the treatment of obesity. In randomized clinical trials, patients who received semaglutide at 2.4 mg lost on average about 6% of their body weight by the end of week 12 and 12% of their body weight by week 28.

A 2017 study published in Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism examined 30 patients and discovered that those who received weekly injections of semaglutide for 12 weeks ate on average 24% fewer calories than those in the control group.

You now have an answer to the common question of “How does semaglutide work?” Semaglutide works best when combined with healthy lifestyle changes, exercise and diet. Check out a few of the best ways to kickstart your weight loss journey!