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Semaglutide: How Ozempic, Wegovy Crush Weight

I think we’re all aware of the news that certain medications that treat Type 2 Diabetes can also trigger dramatic weight loss. Now, there’s even better news. Researchers say we might be able to enjoy the weight loss benefits without taking the meds…

Barley - © beer.beBarley: The best source of beta-glucan, which can trigger dramatic weight loss…

Anyone who watches TV will have been thoroughly bombarded by commercials for Ozempic and Wegovy. These relatively new drugs are members a class called semagluides. They lower blood sugar by helping the pancreas make more natural insulin.

But they have also been shown to produce fast, significant excess body weight reduction in regular users.

The whys and wherefores

NPR.org health correspondent Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff recently chronicled her months-long quest to decode the secret of semaglutide’s weight-loss action. In the end, it was something simple.

“Both medications contain a compound, semaglutide, that squelches hunger like a fly swatter smashes a mosquito,” Doucleff explains. “People who take the medication say they no longer have constant cravings for food, so they eat less frequently. The drug seems to quiet what some people call ‘food noise’, the constant internal chatter telling them to eat.”

Reading a study report, she learned Ozempic and Wegovy mimic a hormone our bodies naturally make when we’re eating food. It’s called GLP-1. And it made her wonder if we could increase levels of this hormone simply by changing our diet.

Yes, you can!

Dr. Frank Duca, studies metabolic diseases at the University of Arizona. He revealed that one of the key foods that triggers the release of GLP-1 is o0ne of the most simple, basic elements of a healthy diet.

Whenever my family finds out that I’m studying obesity or diabetes, they say, ‘Oh, what’s the wonder drug? What do I need to take? What do I need to do?'” Duca says. “And I say, ‘Eat more fibre.'”

A fiber found in barley, called beta-glucan, may improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure and increase satiation – the feeling of fullness – between meals, Doucleff says.

But there are problems eating off-the-shelf, packaged foods, even if they are ‘fortified with fibre’. “We’re seeing now that companies are adding fiber to foods. But a lot of the time, they don’t add the kind of fiber that’s super beneficial for you,” Duca cautions.

What foods have ‘good’ fibre?

We already know barley has oodles of ‘good fibre’. But that’s also one good example of a food most folks don’t eat enough of anymore.

Beta-glucan is also found in oats and rye. Other fermentable fibers include dextrin in wheat, oligosaccharides in beans, peas and lentils, and pectin in apples, pears and green bananas.

“Just being aware of how much fiber you’re eating and increasing it, that’s a huge step to improving your health,” Duca says. “Then once you get into the habit of eating more fiber, you can be more specific about adding more beta-glucan and barley.”

Beta-glucan supplements

You can also get beta-glucan supplements at the usual supplement sources. Medical authorities say its safe to take them for periods of a few weeks at a time. I guess, if you’re goping to lose weight, you’ll know by then.

“Beta-glucans are most commonly used for heart disease and high cholesterol,” WebMD.com says. “They are also used for many other conditions, such as eczema and diabetes. But there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these other uses.”

Not until now, that is.

My take

It seems almost too good to be true, that simply increasing our intake of a classic food can fight cholesterol, heart disease and Type-2 Diabetes, and even help us lose weight.

But the evidence, as presented in a collateral manner by the experience of hundreds of Ozempic and Wegovy users, is pretty convincing.

I’m going to try adding barley to my soups, stews and stir-frys. My mother always tossed a good half cup into hers – carrying on a fine old Scottish tradition. And nobody in her family was ever overweight.

And I’m going directly from this post to Google ‘Barley recipes’…

~ Maggie J.