Benefits, Risks, and Discussion of New Weight Loss Drugs by Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson

Benefits, Risks, and My Thoughts on Drugs Like Ozempic

In recent years, GLP-1 agonist drugs like Semaglutide, marketed as Ozempic and Wegovy (among others), have gained attention for their potential to aid in weight loss and manage Type 2 Diabetes. GLP-1 is a hormone produced by the body, and agonist drugs like Semaglutide initiate a biochemical response when they bind to GLP-1 receptors. While these medications have shown promising mechanisms of action and reported benefits, there are also concerns and risks associated with their use. In this blog post, we will explore the mechanisms of action and potential benefits of Semaglutide drugs, as well as highlight the risks and cautions surrounding their usage.

Mechanisms of Action and Reported Benefits

  1. Weight Loss: Studies have shown that Semaglutide medications lead to better weight loss outcomes compared to placebo. This effect is believed to be driven by increased satiety, likely due to slowed digestion and alterations in hunger/satiety hormones and signaling.
  2. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Some studies have suggested that these drugs may have a positive impact on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  3. Glucose Uptake and Production: Semaglutide drugs increase glucose uptake in muscle cells while decreasing glucose production in the liver, which helps in managing blood sugar levels.

Risks, Cautions, and Concerns

  1. Cost: One significant drawback of these medications is their high cost, with prices around $1400 per month, making them financially burdensome for many patients.
  2. Lack of Long-Term Studies: The newer, higher-dose Semaglutide medications lack long-term studies to assess their safety, potential side effects, and risks over extended periods of use.
  3. Uncertain Impact on Different Tissues: GLP-1 receptors are found throughout the body, and the full purpose of these receptors in various tissues has not been fully understood, potentially leading to unknown consequences.
  4. Limitations Compared to Lower Carb Diets: While these drugs mimic some effects of a lower carb diet by improving blood sugar and insulin levels, they do not promote fat burning or ketone production. Additionally, the sugar taken in can still contribute to tissue damage.
  5. Increased Fat Cell Numbers: Semaglutide drugs help shrink fat cells, but they also increase the number of fat cells, which can lead to a higher risk of weight gain once the drugs are discontinued.
  6. Loss of Lean Tissue: Studies have shown a potential loss of muscle mass and lean tissue with these drugs, leading to a “gaunt and wrinkly” appearance, referred to as “Ozempic face.”
  7. Limited Impact on Inflammation, Toxin Load, and Nutrient Status: These medications do not address inflammation or toxin load in the body nor improve nutrient status.
  8. Gastrointestinal Concerns: Some reports have linked these drugs to gastroparesis (paralysis of the stomach) and obstructed bowels, likely due to their slowed digestive function.

Personal Perspective

While Semaglutide medications can play a role in managing weight loss and Type 2 Diabetes, it is essential to recognize that these conditions are primarily lifestyle and dietary diseases. Medications like these should be viewed as complementary to a comprehensive healing journey that includes proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals have successfully reversed metabolic disorders without medications, instead focusing on addressing the root causes through diet, exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep. Unfortunately, mainstream medical guidelines are often influenced by pharmaceutical research, with limited focus on diet and lifestyle studies.


Semaglutide medications, such as Ozempic and Wegoovy, hold promise for weight loss and Type 2 Diabetes management. However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks and limitations associated with their use. While they may be a helpful tool in a larger healing journey, they should not replace the importance of a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. Ultimately, the decision to use these medications should be made after careful consideration and full awareness of the individual’s health goals and priorities.


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