Just in case you haven’t heard about it, a new kind of weight-loss/diabetes medication has revolutionized how we see obesity. And that is a great thing. Obesity is a health problem because it causes a lot more than “just” mental distress for people who are obese. I could list the health problems that follow long-term obesity, but they are familiar to many and are also easily found online. If obesity was ever a sign of wealth, this association has long been gone from first-world societies. Nowadays, it’s a sign of “low class,” lack of willpower, or whatever. Obese girls are not cool. You don’t have to agree with these opinions (I don’t), but it’s useful to understand how science looks at obesity because it’s the result of biochemistry, genes, and receptors, not lack of willpower.
For thousands of years, evolution favored women capable of accumulating calories in fat in times of abundance in preparation for times of hunger, especially for pregnancy and lactation. If you look at ancient world fertility amulets (search for Venus of Willendorf) and see how big thighs were seen as a sign of bounty and fertility.
But how did evolution give women large fat storage capacity in their thighs and bottoms? Through genes, of course. And how do those genes achieve their objective? Semaglutide, recently introduced in the market for diabetes control and weight loss, provides some new answers.
Semaglutide is a synthetic peptide similar to the natural hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) with an added side chain that lengthens its survival in the body, allowing it to work for days rather than hours; it can be administered by subcutaneous injection or taken orally. The natural hormone can be rapidly degraded by peptidases, an essential mechanism for fast regulation but inconvenient when designing a medication.
The natural hormone mimicked by Ozempic
Appetite is a very complicated thing subjected to very complicated regulation. Glucagon is one part of the mechanism that regulates appetite.
The expression of the gene for glucagon follows different patterns in the various tissues that express it. The gene expression of pancreatic pro-glucagon is promoted by fasting and decreasing blood glucose; it’s inhibited by insulin. Conversely, intestinal proglucagon gene expression is reduced during fasting and stimulated upon food consumption. Tissue-specific posttranslational processing mechanisms allow different peptides to be produced in different cells and promoted by different physiological stimuli.
In the case of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a 30-amino-acid-long peptide hormone derived from the processing of the proglucagon peptide, it is produced and secreted by intestinal L-cells and certain neurons within the brainstem. GLP-1 is released after food ingestion; it promotes satiety and reduces food and water intake. It also promotes insulin secretion in a glucose-dependent manner.
Figure. Functions of GLP-1. By Lthoms11, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55236027
The receptor for the natural hormone (and its synthetic analog)
The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1R) is a receptor protein found on beta cells of the pancreas and neurons of the brain. It is involved in the control of blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin secretion. In humans, it is synthesized by the gene GLP1R. It is a member of the glucagon receptor family of G protein-coupled receptors.
What’s the difference between Ozempic and its “cousins”?
The structure of the peptide. While all of them will bind to the same receptor, the modifications from the original natural hormone differ and will result in different affinities, stability and even possible binding to other related receptors. Just follow your doctor’s instructions and advice.
Ozempic: how does it affect the skin? Will Ozempic result in “excess skin”?
Ozempic works by affecting appetite. The patient loses weight rapidly. It also affects the skin by depleting subcutaneous fat and “starving” the skin of nutrition.
Will you need plastic surgery after Ozempic? If our skin were perfectly elastic and could rapidly adjust to the loss of subcutaneous fat, there wouldn’t be a problem. No excess skin, no need for cutting it off!
But Ozempic can make a face look gaunt, like when people lose excess fat in their cheeks or neck for any reason. Massive weight loss through medication, bariatric surgery, or diet and exercise decreases the amount of fat under the skin throughout the body, with excess skin hanging from the face, arms, and neck areas. Some plastic surgeons use fat transfers (often taken from the hips or abdomen) to deal with the gaunt look resulting from fast weight/volume loss. But remember: surgery is never risk-free. You are much better off using topical products that help.
So-called “energy machines” use light and/or heat to cause inflammation. They can’t tighten the skin for more than a few days; when inflammation recedes, the skin goes back to its original state, just a bit stressed and older as a result of the “treatment”.
Only your skin can “iron” itself. Skin Actives can help your skin do just that. Using those effective ingredients, we can wake up the natural tissue-tightening tools to our skin. Some great ingredients like epidermal growth factor, Vitamin A, and others can stimulate collagen synthesis and other skin components. We can wake up your skin stem cells and eliminate the old, dead cells that stand in the way of better skin. And make sure you provide plenty of nutrition: your skin will not be able to make proteins or lipids from thin air.
Claims on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.
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