Semaglutide, commonly known as Ozempic, is a derivative of GLP-1, a naturally occurring peptide hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and insulin secretion. Research indicates that Semaglutide can potentially improve heart, liver, and lung function while also slowing or preventing the effects of Alzheimer's disease. By delaying gastric emptying and reducing intestinal motility, Semaglutide effectively decreases appetite. This GLP-1 analog stimulates insulin secretion and suppresses glucagon secretion in a glucose-dependent manner.
GLP-1, a short peptide hormone approximately 30-31 amino acids in length, plays a crucial role in lowering blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin secretion. It has also been associated with neurotrophic effects in the brain and is involved in protecting beta cell insulin stores and promoting nervous system function. In the gastrointestinal system, GLP-1 significantly reduces appetite by delaying gastric emptying and decreasing intestinal motility. Moreover, preliminary studies have revealed the potential impacts of GLP-1 on various organs such as the heart, fat, muscles, bones, liver, lungs, and kidneys.
While GLP-1 research primarily focuses on treating and preventing diabetes, as well as suppressing appetite, secondary research investigates its potential cardiovascular benefits. Recent studies also highlight the ability of GLP-1 to mitigate neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's, by slowing down or preventing the accumulation of amyloid beta plaques.
In a phase 3 clinical trial involving overweight or obese adults without diabetes, the efficacy of Semaglutide was assessed compared to a placebo, along with lifestyle modifications. A total of 1961 participants received weekly subcutaneous injections of 2.4 mg of Semaglutide or placebo over 68 weeks, while both groups received counseling on diet and exercise. The primary outcomes measured were the percentage change in body weight and weight reduction of at least 5%.
At week 68, the mean weight reduction was significantly higher in the Semaglutide group compared to the placebo group (14.9% vs. 2.4%; estimated difference of -12.4 percentage points; 95% CI, -13.4 to -11.5). Furthermore, a greater proportion of participants in the semaglutide group achieved a weight loss of at least 5% compared to the placebo group (86.4% vs. 31.5%). Regarding safety, mild to moderate adverse events, mainly gastrointestinal, were reported, leading to treatment discontinuation in 7.0% of the Semaglutide group and 3.1% of the placebo group. Serious adverse events, primarily gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary, occurred more frequently in the semaglutide group.
It was concluded overweight or obese adults without diabetes experienced clinically relevant weight loss when treated with weekly injections of Semaglutide (2.4 mg) in conjunction with lifestyle modifications.
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