From curbing your craving for alcohol to boosting fertility, all the surprising health benefits of Ozempic

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Written By Maya Cantina

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Semaglutide is well-known for its weight loss benefits.  

The game-changing injections, sold as Ozempic and Wegovy, are proven to help people lose up to 2st. 

But the slimming jabs also have some surprising benefits, as explained by MailOnline… 

Ozempic and Wegovy hailed by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk are proven to help people lose up to 2st

Lowers alcohol cravings 

It’s not just food Ozempic puts you off, it may also drastically reduce your desire to drink alcohol. 

Attention has turned to the possibility that semaglutide might reduce drug cravings and alcohol consumption. 

Ozempic works by mimicking GLP-1 – a naturally occurring hormone which tells the brain it is full. Some experts think this internal process, which suppresses the desire to eat, may also dampen other cravings.

Studies on rodents have backed the theory.

A team of researchers attached to the US National Institutes of Health published a study in 2023 that found semaglutide discouraged rodents from drinking alcohol.

Attention has turned to the possibility that semaglutide ¿ the powerful chemical in both Ozempic and Wegovy ¿ may have a potential impact on addictive behaviors such as reducing drug craving and alcohol consumption

Attention has turned to the possibility that semaglutide — the powerful chemical in both Ozempic and Wegovy — may have a potential impact on addictive behaviors such as reducing drug craving and alcohol consumption

There has also been some evidence in humans that semaglutide specifically slashes the symptoms of alcohol use disorder.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, a case series last year outlined the fascinating outcomes of six patients who received semaglutide during treatment for weight loss.  

But the researchers at University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine and Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences also found they reduced their alcohol intake.

A follow up showed the six patients indicated ‘low risk’ drinking, which indicates they no-longer had a problem with their drinking.

However, the study authors stressed that more research is needed.  

Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke 

The skinny jab could also cut your risk of a heart attack, according to researchers. 

Having a healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases like strokes and vascular dementia.

That’s because excess weight can lead to fatty material building up in your arteries, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) warns. 

If an artery that carries blood to the heart gets damaged and clogged it could lead to a heart attack. If this happens to arteries that carries blood to the brain, it can cause a stroke, according to BHF. 

So, it is no surprise that injections of semaglutide that help you lose weight could also reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems. 

Ozempic and its sister drug Wegovy work by triggering the body to bind to a receptor called the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a protein that triggers the release of hormones in the brain which keep the stomach full and tell the body to stop eating and avoid cravings

Ozempic and its sister drug Wegovy work by triggering the body to bind to a receptor called the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a protein that triggers the release of hormones in the brain which keep the stomach full and tell the body to stop eating and avoid cravings

One study suggested getting 2.4mg injections of semaglutide like Wegovy a week could reduce the risk of ‘major adverse cardiovascular events’ by 20 per cent.

That’s according to the company behind the drug. 

The 2023 study by Novo Nordisk, which makes Wegovy, enrolled 17,604 adults over 45 who were overweight or obese with cardiovascular disease and no history of diabetes.

Researchers split participants into two groups, one was given the Wegovy injection while the other had the placebo. 

Can treat kidney failure 

It’s not just cardiovascular problems Novo Nordisk claims the skinny jabs can treat. The company also believes it could help treat patients with kidney failure.  

Chronic kidney disease affects 7.2million Brits, but this figure is expected to rise by about 400,000 over the next decade, mainly due to the increasing number of high blood pressure and obesity cases.

But researchers claim that offering them early treatment with semaglutide would be a game-changing solution. 

In October, Novo Nordisk announced it was stopping its study on whether the drugs could treat kidney failure patients who also had diabetes effectively because it was confident it would succeed. 

Having a healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases like, strokes and vascular dementia. Research has shown Wegovy could also help reduce this risk

Having a healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases like, strokes and vascular dementia. Research has shown Wegovy could also help reduce this risk

The Danish drug maker was testing if the diabetes drug could delay the progression of chronic kidney disease and lower the risk of death from complications. 

A separate study, published last year, found type 2 diabetics who also had kidney disease saw their condition stabilise after taking semaglutide. 

A 2018 study in the US found that kidney disease patients taking a different GLP-1 drug saw a significant reduction in a protein called albumin in their urine. A high amount can be a sign that the kidneys are not working properly. 

It might boost fertility 

Many women who were previously battling infertility claim to have conceived unexpectedly while using the weight-loss jabs. 

Dubbed ‘Oopzempic babies’, the phenomenon has even led some US medics to prescribe the jabs off-label to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), one of the leading causes of fertility struggles in women.

But experts say losing weight can generally help fertility. 

Professor Adam Balen, a reproductive medicine consultant at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and former chair of the British Fertility Society, said: ‘Many women who are overweight have reduced fertility, and those with PCOS may stop ovulating. 

‘Losing weight improves fertility and the likelihood of ovulation.’

Many women who were previously battling infertility claim to have conceived unexpectedly while using the miracle weight-loss jabs

Many women who were previously battling infertility claim to have conceived unexpectedly while using the miracle weight-loss jabs

GLP-1 anti-obesity medications like Ozempic and Wegovy could have an effect on cognitive disorders and even ward off Alzheimer's disease

GLP-1 anti-obesity medications like Ozempic and Wegovy could have an effect on cognitive disorders and even ward off Alzheimer’s disease

That’s because fat cells produce oestrogen which can have a negative impact on fertility — halting regular menstruation and ovulation. This means by losing just a few pounds, hormone levels may be lowered. 

Semaglutide also works by delaying the stomach from emptying, which could prevent oral contraceptives from being absorbed effectively by the body.

The jabs can leave users suffering vomiting and diarrhoea, which may lessen the impact of contraceptives, also increasing the chances of pregnancy. 

GLP-1 anti-obesity medications like Ozempic and Wegovy could have an effect on cognitive disorders and even ward off Alzheimer’s. 

Novo Nordisk is studying what impact these drugs have on cognitive function. 

Trials are assessing the effects of semaglutide versus placebo in people with early Alzheimer’s disease.

But it’s not the first time researchers have studied the benefits of GLP-1 drugs on cognitive disorders.

One 2003 study published in Neuroscience research found GLP-1 can reduce the build-up of amyloid protein in the brain. 

The NHS explains that Alzheimer’s is thought to be caused by a build up of these toxic proteins, which can form plaques around brain cells. 

However, obesity can contribute to impaired cognitive function and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, suggesting it could just be the slimming effects that give it’s benefits against the disease.  

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