Metabolic Health

Muscle Loss & Drugs Like Ozempic – What is the Evidence?

The advent of GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as semaglutide (marketed as Ozempic and Wegovy), has brought promising prospects for weight loss and overall metabolic health improvement (Kim & Kim, 2020). These medications have demonstrated their effectiveness in shedding unwanted pounds and potentially enhancing cardiovascular and metabolic well-being. However, this scientific inquiry delves into a pertinent concern: does the pursuit of weight loss through these pharmacological interventions come at the expense of one’s invaluable muscle mass (Srikanthan & Karlamangla, 2014)? This article will examine the current body of evidence on the impact of GLP-1 receptor agonists on muscle mass and strength, shedding light on whether these benefits indeed come with a price (Ashtary-Larky et al., 2020).

Read more…

How “Ozempic” Works – Weight Loss, Weight Regain, & Neuroscience

How do drugs like Ozempic (semaglutide) cause weight loss? What happens when someone comes off of these drugs? In this episode, we discuss how these drugs (GLP-1 receptor agonists) target specific areas in the brain to suppress appetite and facilitate weight loss. We also discuss clinical trials data suggesting that these drugs and/or the weight loss that they facilitate may have cardioprotective effects. Lastly, we will also examine evidence regarding weight regain when coming off of these drugs and common side effects.

Is it Possible to be Healthy and Obese?

Is it possible to be metabolically healthy and overweight or obese? In this episode, we discuss the science of what makes fat healthy or unhealthy. We discuss how metabolic dysfunction in fat tissue can affect the rest of the body. We also review evidence pertaining to the “obesity paradox” and explore explanations for the associations of body mass index (BMI) and changes in the risk of disease complications and mortality. We discuss how metrics of central obesity can be used to obtain a better picture of an individual’s metabolic health. Lastly, we discuss the critical link between exercise capacity and future health, as well as how to begin to transform our existing fat stores into a healthier state.

How Super-Athletes Use FAT for Fuel

In this episode, we discuss fat through the lens of performance and survival, and what happens when we push our energy systems to their limits. We also talk about how our bodies make adaptations via exercise to improve our ability to “burn” fat for fuel, and how our bodies conserve fuel during times of negative energy balance. Lastly, we preview the role of fat as an endocrine organ and the importance of its communication with the brain, as well as the critical role of exercise capacity for our future health.

How Our Food Environment Drives Weight Gain

This is our first episode on weight gain and weight loss. In this episode, we describe how, as an industrialized nation, our food supply and environment have changed in a way that, in many cases, is mismatched with our biology as humans. We explore how these changes can lead to disease and metabolic dysfunction. We discuss how the replacement of whole foods with processed foods, as well as the addition of caloric sweeteners to most of the food items within grocery stores across the nation has preceded a rapid rise in obesity and metabolic dysfunction. In this episode, we begin to discuss some of the pathophysiology related to the consumption of ultra-processed and hyper-palatable foods as well as concerns surrounding the consumption of fructose- and glucose- containing sugary drinks. We also discussed the timelines of weight gain and loss as they typically occur over the lifespan and vary according to season. This episode sets the stage for the next episodes, which will focus on the normal fat metabolism and how it may become dysregulated in metabolic dysfunction.