"Oh, Oh, Oprah - Ozempic"Dec 18, 2023
by Phil Kaplan
Last week I told you about our breakthrough Affordable 14-Day Metabolic Fat Loss Program, IMPACT14, and in the same week word got out.
Oprah’s on Ozempic.
One of those two options (IMPACT14, Ozempic) will help people restore health and metabolic excellence, the other will leave a great many disappointed with varied levels of regret.
I’ll say nothing about Oprah and her weight loss journey. It’s clear she’s one of the most influential icons in the world with one of the most public struggles in that arena, but I’ll also ask you to stop and think before you join the “Oprah did it so it must be good” club.
Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and the like are NOT magic weight loss solutions. They come with risks, and I encourage anyone, before considering usage, to first learn what a “black box warning” is, and secondly, to read the package materials that accompany these “new” drugs.
Here, according to the National Institutes of Health, is the definition of “black box warnings.”
Black Box Warnings are the highest safety-related warning that medications can have assigned by the Food and Drug Administration to bring the consumer’s attention to the major risk factors proven to be associated with use of the drug.
Not all drugs come with Black Box warnings. Only those that the FDA deems dangerous, those drugs sold by sellers who want to be certain they’ve done their part to inform the consumer, “this drug may not be safe.” Interestingly, of all of the users I spoke with (and there were many), not a one was aware of “the warning.”
The typical response is “I know its not healthy, but . . . “
I’ll provide a few points to consider for anyone teetering on the brink of “maybe the drug is a better option than that “program” that makes me exercise.”
Here’s a quote from an article published in the NY Times (August 17, 2023).
“Dr. Susan Yanovski, a co-director of the office of obesity research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, warned that patients would have to be monitored for rare but serious side effects, especially as scientists still don’t know why the drugs work”
Go back and read those last few words again. That, in itself, should offer cause for pause.
While I don’t pretend to be a scientist, I'm not a stranger to research. I’ve been in the field of Medical Fitness specializing in reversal of weight loss resistance for quite some time, I’ve served as a consumer advocate, I’ve studied every weight loss drug release in the past 30 years, and I can explain a bit about the why.
LET'S START WITH "THE REASON" IT "WORKS"
These drugs collectively fall into a category of GLP-1 receptor agonists.
GLP is the abbreviation for Glucagon-Like Peptide, a hormone produced by intestinal cells in response to nutrient intake.
The GLP-1 receptor has a host of complementary actions and roles in optimizing digestion and resultant endocrine function. The actions include the secretion of insulin (to transport and store glucose), slow gastric emptying, and inhibit food intake by interacting with appetite mechanisms.
Keep in mind, this is in response to the consumption of food.
When the links between GLP-1, its receptor, and insulin unfolded, the hunt for a pharmacological means of stimulating this receptor was on, and by 2018, liraglutide and semaglutide found their way to market as drugs aimed at treating Type 2 Diabetes. It wasn’t long before approvals were pursued and accomplished to prescribe these drugs for “weight loss.”
I’m going to simplify a bit, although if you choose to seek out the science, I’ll refer you to a very thorough study, history, summary and review:
Müller TD, Finan B, Bloom SR, D'Alessio D, Drucker DJ, Flatt PR, Fritsche A, Gribble F, Grill HJ, Habener JF, Holst JJ, Langhans W, Meier JJ, Nauck MA, Perez-Tilve D, Pocai A, Reimann F, Sandoval DA, Schwartz TW, Seeley RJ, Stemmer K, Tang-Christensen M, Woods SC, DiMarchi RD, Tschöp MH. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Mol Metab. 2019 Dec;30:72-130.
These first to market GLP-1 mimics, liraglutide (Saxenda, Victoza*) and semaglutide (Wegovy, Ozempic, Rybelsus) act at the GLP-1 receptor to trick the digestive and endocrine systems into believing “nutrients are here.”
* Note that both Saxenda and Victoza faced some scrutiny (references follow). “Novo Nordisk Agrees to Pay $58 Million for Failure to Comply with FDA-Mandated Risk Program" (Press release). U.S. Department of Justice. 5 September 2017. Whistleblower recoveries from insurance cases brought by Phillips & Cohen bring Novo Nordisk's Victoza settlement to $60 million" (Press release). Phillips & Cohen LLP. 5 September 2017.
As a result of exogenous application of injected GLP-1 mimics, digestive activity slows, appetite is decreased, and insulin secretion is increased. In the short term, this “trick” results in more “active” insulin, less hunger, and slower movement of smooth muscle that lines the stomach and intestines.
So much for the mystery of “why it works.”
Now let’s look a bit further and raise a few questions.
The less threatening and more common side effects include:
- Abdominal Pain
These side effects might seem reasonable if you were swallowing a pill or a substance, but these “meds” are injectables. They go into the bloodstream and bring about alterations in your digestive activity. While these first-mentioned side effects may appear minimal, and a fair trade-off for the illusory promise of lasting weight loss, they’re a clear indication that this isn’t “natural.”
Your digestive system is having a “food response” yet the impetus has nothing to do with food!
I'll share some of the more concerning side effects at the end of this piece, but I want to start by singling out what equates to nothing short of digestive paralysis.
I'll say it this way . . .
When an exogenous substance is injected and alters digestive activity, this “trick” may have serious ramifications.
- Paralysis of the stomach
- Digestive Shut down.
As more cases of digestive issues are reported, response releases from manufacturers downplay the incidence, but its important to realize, these drugs have only been on the market since 2018, have only been prescribed for weight loss for 2 years, and are, just now hitting record numbers of prescription.
(you might want to read a blog I wrote several months ago about the cyclical history of weight loss drugs)
While users can bury their heads in the proverbial sand, and their physicians may shrut off or minimize the risks, the concerns I'm sharing are continuing to find documentation, not only in scientific journals, but in the most revered publication in the world of medicine.
The October 2023 issue of the Journal of the Medical Association (JAMA) featured the results of a study concluding that users of semaglutide for weight management were at a heightened risk of developing “pancreatitis, gastroparesis, and bowel obstruction.”
WEIGHING OUT THE RISKS
OK, so you’re willing to risk some gas and bloating, you’ve made peace with the possibility of severe digestive issues, but you’re playing the odds, and you’re still tempted.
Let’s now go to that Black Box warning.
WARNING: RISK OF THYROID C-CELL TUMORS
In rodents, semaglutide causes dose-dependent and treatment-duration-dependent thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures. It is unknown whether Ozempic®causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans as human relevance of semaglutide-induced rodent thyroid C-cell tumors has not been determined.
Naysayers will dismiss such language, “that refers to rats, and I’m not a rodent.”
There are several reasons rodent studies provide vital insight.
- Rodent lifespan is a fraction of ours, therefore “effects” show up sooner and can be predictors of “what might happen over a greater time period in humans.”
- As warm blooded mammals that eat what humans eat and can live where humans live, they can serve as laboratory representations of outcomes with varied stimuli that might be directed at humans. As weird as this may sound, their organ structure, biological systems, and metabolic and neurological systems are quite similar to yours.
So, if rats studied, in significant numbers, are developing thyroid cancer from use of Ozempic, I’d consider that a reasonable consideration prompting folks to err on the side of caution.
We aren't finished. I just want you to stop here. For a moment. Take a breath.
I know how insatiable the desire to lose weight can be when a potentially promising solution is dangled in front of you. I’m urging you to stay the course here, arm yourself with wisdom and make a decision based on fact and reason.
I’m not asking you not to lose weight. Much the opposite. I’m just asking you to make the best choice. And lose weight. Without backslide or regret.
When you're ready, go on . . .
From this point forward, I’m going to invite you to consider a few questions.
Ask them, not with a wall up insisting “if it works for weight loss it can’t be bad,”” not with the “Whoa Oh Oh Ozempic” song playing in your head (is it playing now?), but with genuine desire to understand.
Ask the questions to allow your power of reason to help make the right decision(s) for your own health and betterment.
Here's how this short exercise will work.
I’ll provide a short list of questions I deem worthwhile, and for the first few I’ll share some preliminary answers. I invite you to continue to ask, to continue to contemplate, and if you’d like to share any additional questions or insights with me, reach out at any time.
“Have you ever made a bad decision, in hindsight regretted it, but used the word, “but” to override cautions (even though, deep down in your gut, you knew better?”
I ask you to ask yourself this to remove the “but” from the “I know its not healthy but” justification. We've all made foolish mistakes, and hopefully we’ve learned from them. Armed with the information I’m providing herein, let’s try replacing whatever followed the “I know it’s not healthy” with “and I should trust my gut and intuition. You can support that assertion with, " Phil’s sharing valuable, valid, science-based healthy alternatives without any risk (beyond those normally associated with movement and exercise). I should use my critical thinking ability and bow to my better judgment.
“If you lose weight on a new injectable GLP-1 drug, what will the lose weight be made up of (what will you lose)?”
In all likelihood you’ll lose four things. Water weight (temporary, but a great trick if someone wants to convince you their weight loss product is “working.” That’s one. Secondly you’ll lose some fat as pancreatic hormone production (glucagon) is likely to increase fat mobilization. Thirdly you’ll lose muscle tissue, and that’s bad.
Muscle IS metabolism.
It provides us the physical location for fat burning. It is movement, heat, and function. And it has weight. On a drug that reduces your urge to eat, you’re going to experience muscle catabolism, and the long-term outcome is compromise and a slower metabolism.
Fourthly, bone density. The only one of the four that is certain to come back with any level of permanence is fat, and based on all we know about metabolism and weight loss, you’ll likely acquire more fat than you lost and find it more difficult to get rid of.
I’ll share a few more questions I find important for consideration, questions you should ask yourself, and if you’re not certain of the answers, set up a consultation with me. I’ll help you answer every one.
- What is it doing to your natural endocrine production?
- What happens when you stop using the drug?
- What happens if you don’t stop?
FINALLY, HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION:
Is there a better alternative?
Set up a consultation with me.
We’ll review your history, your desired outcomes, alternatives, and solutions. I won’t ever tell you what to do. That’s of course up to you. I will, however, share everything that arms you to make the best decisions possible.
I'll show you how the programs I've designed, the strategies we use at Infinite Impact, deliver restoration of Metabolic Excellence, a "reboot" of optimal endocrine function, natural re-balancing of insulin and glucagon. We can even discuss injectables (accessible and inexpensive) that deliver metabolic benefit without any risk or downside at all.
(cell/text) 954 294-8434
Oh, I promised you a more complete list of possible adverse effects and warnings (beyond nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.). Here goes:
- Elevated lumps, or swelling of thyroid nodules which may be indications of cancer
- Hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath which may be indications of cancer
- Growth of thyroid tumors which may be cancerous
- Acute and chronic Pancreatitis
- Diabetic Retinopathy and Ocular Complications
- Hypoglycemia with symptoms that may include dizziness or lightheadedness, blurred vision, anxiety, irritability or mood changes, sweating, slurred speech, hunger, confusion or drowsiness, shakiness, weakness, headache, fast heartbeat, and feeling jittery.
- Acute Kidney Injury or Kidney Failure
- Hypersensitive Reactions (anaphylaxis, angioedema)
- Acute Gallbladder Disease which may include: pain in your upper stomach (abdomen), fever, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), or clay-colored stools
- Delay of Gastric Emptying and Impairment of Absorption of Oral Medications
Reach out. Let’s figure out, together, the best path forward so this is the last weight loss decision you ever have to make.