Weight loss is one of the most common goals shared by Americans. According to a recent Gallup survey, more than half of U.S. adults have expressed a desire to lose weight over the past five years. Yet weight loss remains one of the most difficult health resolutions to achieve and maintain. In fact, experts believe that as many as 80-95% of people who lose weight eventually gain it all back (and sometimes more).
A person’s weight is a unique and complex reflection of a variety of factors, including genetics, hormones, behavior, and environment. Many researchers believe that the reason so many people fail to lose weight and keep it off is because few weight loss strategies work to address a person’s biology. That’s where peptides come in.
Over the past decade, peptides have emerged as one of the most promising therapies for weight loss. Read on to learn how they work and whether or not they may be right for you.
How do peptides work for weight loss?
When discussing peptides and weight loss, the focus is often on glucagon-like-peptide-1s (GLP-1s). GLP-1s are a class of medications that have proven to be effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and weight loss.
GLP-1s work by mimicking the effect of the GLP-1 hormone that’s naturally produced in the gut. This hormone works to improve insulin production in the pancreas, slow down the emptying of the stomach, and reduce the amount of sugar that’s produced in the liver. The combined effect works to support weight loss and improve metabolic health by lowering insulin levels, reducing appetite, and decreasing muscle insulin sensitivity.
Who can use peptides for weight loss?
GLP-1s are designed to be used by people who meet certain criteria. GLP-1s can be used by people who have a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, or by people who have a BMI of 27 or higher who also have at least one weight-related condition, including type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Importantly, GLP-1 medications are not intended to be a quick-fix for weight loss. Long-term commitment is required for the treatment to be successful.
Are they effective?
Put simply, yes! Research shows that GLP-1s work to support long-term weight loss in people with overweight or obesity with or without type 2 diabetes.
Are there any side effects?
Unlike other weight loss drugs that can cause serious side effects, including an increase in blood pressure, the most common side effect of GLP-1s is nausea. Thankfully, there are ways to counteract this effect if it does occur, including lowering your dosage or taking an anti-nausea medication.
Though rare, there is also an association with an increased risk of pancreatitis and/or tumors. For this reason, GLP-1s should not be used in people with a history of acute pancreatitis or in people with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer (a very rare form of cancer).
How can I learn more?
GLP-1s have been shown to help many people lose weight safely and sustainably. To learn more about whether or not GLP-1s may be right for you, reach out to the Telegenixx team here.
Brain GLP-1 and Insulin Sensitivity. (2016.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4547906/
Effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists on weight loss: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials. (2012.) https://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.d7771.long
GLP-1 and weight loss: unraveling the diversal neural circuitry. (2016.) https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpregu.00520.2015
Long-term weight loss maintenance. (2005.) https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/1/222S/4863393
Potential side effects to GLP-1 agonists: understanding their safety and tolerability. (2014.) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1517/14740338.2015.987122
What Percentage of Americans Consider Themselves Overweight? (2022.) https://news.gallup.com/poll/388460/percentage-americans-consider-themselves-overweight.aspx