Ozempic, an injectable drug taken for diabetes is also regarded as a miracle weight-loss drug, but the manufacturer’s recommended price lists Ozempic pens as US$935.77 without insurance, which may be well beyond the reach of most people.
Is there a cheaper alternative that could have the same effect? The answer is maybe.
Ozempic and a similar drug called Wegovy, can cause dramatic weight loss.
Both medications contain a compound, semaglutide, that reduces constant cravings for food, so people who take them eat less frequently.
The drug mimics a hormone that our bodies naturally make when we’re eating food. It’s called GLP-1. , which makes you feel full. So is possible to increase levels of this hormone by eating different foods?
Turns out, the answer is yes – you can increase your body’s production of GLP-1 with your diet, says Frank Duca, who studies metabolic diseases at the University of Arizona.
Some of the key foods that triggers its release are common forms of fibre, such as barley and oats.
The bid difference between GLP-1 and Ozempic is that GLP-1 sticks around in the blood for only a few minutes, but semaglutide persists for days and this stability allows the drug to go into the brain, where it squelches appetite and cravings directly, says Sandoval. That’s why people on these drugs lose so much weight.
But, not all fiber is equal: To get this extra boost of satiation hormones, you need to eat fiber that bacteria can digest. These fibers are called fermentable because bacteria literally ferment them, in a similar way that yeast ferments barley into beer.
In one preliminary study with mice, Duca and his colleagues found that a fiber in barley, called beta-glucan, induced the most weight loss in obese animals. “At face value and, at least in our settings, it was only beta-glucan that was effective,” he says.
Beta-glucan is also found in oats and rye. And indeed, studies with people have found that beta-glucan fiber may improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure and increase satiation between meals.
So will changing your diet help you lose weight? Well, maybe.
The old quote: “Let food be thy medicine” is catchy and often based on science, especially when drugs are deliberately chosen or designed to mimic hormones and compounds already naturally occurring in the body.
Changing diet is a way to modify our health and our biological responses. But these effects occur on a background of our personal biology and our unique life circumstances.
For some people, medication will be a tool to improve weight and insulin-related outcomes. For others, food alone is a reasonable pathway to success.
Source: NPR, Sciencealert.com