A Solution to GLP-1 Inhibitor’s Troubling Side Effects

Weight management is a personal journey — a challenging, yet very important one. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial as it helps reduce the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and joint-related problems. Life at a healthy weight supports overall wellbeing and a higher quality of life as you age. GLP-1 inhibitors can play a role in this journey.

For many, the traditional approach of “eat less, exercise more” has not been sustainable — unfortunately leading to an unhealthy pattern of weight loss followed by weight gain that places extra stress on the body. Being overweight is a medical problem — just like heart disease or high blood pressure. 

New weight-loss medications (known as GLP-1 inhibitors) are quickly gaining popularity, as the results are fast and compelling. This class of weight-loss medication provides a level of optimism for those who’ve experienced (and needed) the powerful results. But — as with all medications — there are side effects to pay close attention to. 

Let’s cover the new GLP-1 solutions, discuss the top concern (as this issue is even more troublesome for those over 50), and how Urolithin A from Timeline might be able to help. 

What are GLP-1 inhibitors?

You’re probably more familiar with their brand names: Ozempic (semaglutide), Wegovy (semaglutide), and Zepbound (tirzepatide). All were initially approved for the management of type 2 diabetes. 

These glucagon-like peptide-1 inhibitors (GLP-1) are also increasingly prescribed for weight loss as they are effective in: 

  • Reducing appetite and promoting a feeling of fullness, which can lead to an overall decreased caloric intake 
  • Slowing down how quickly food exits the stomach, leading to a longer period of satiety
  • Regulating blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity

These medications cannot be denied their efficacy in weight loss. They are changing the game for those looking to reach a healthy weight. 

A concerning side effect and its impact, especially for those over 50

The well-known side effects include nausea and gastrointestinal issues. However, an often overlooked concern is the loss of muscle mass. When people lose weight quickly (through diet, medication, or surgery), they tend to lose a significant percentage of muscle mass along with the weight. 

Studies have shown that the rapid weight loss associated with a semaglutide results in a loss of 15 pounds of muscle mass per 22 pounds of fat mass. This is a significant health concern. Low muscle mass and muscle strength are directly connected to a higher risk of all-cause mortality and disability. 

This loss of muscle mass is compounded by age. As you age, you naturally lose about 10% of your muscle mass. Known as sarcopenia, this age-related progressive loss of muscle mass is medically well documented in older people and in postmenopausal women. 

Conclusions

The real kicker here? When people wean off these medications, they usually gain back the fat lost, but not the lost muscle. (This unintended consequence is anecdotally known as the “Ozempic Rebound.”) For those considering the use of a GLP-1 medication, it is vitally important to focus on muscle preservation. 

We cannot stress this enough. Those of us in our 40s, 50s, and 60s typically lose about 3-8% of our muscle as a natural part of aging, per decade. For example, if a person weighing 300 lbs loses 15 lbs of muscle over a few months with the help of a GLP-1 inhibitor, that muscle loss is equivalent to more than a decade of natural decline. This has a profound negative impact on long-term health. That is why we are bringing attention to this particular side effect. It is important to be acutely aware that some of the health benefits gained under these medical programs are offset as they accelerate muscle loss at an alarming rate.

Options to support muscle preservation

As with many health-focused solutions, the approach is multi-pronged and includes a focus on nutrition, exercise, and supplements. There are three areas to consider and possibly incorporate into your journey:

A high protein nutritional plan. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, and you should aim for at least 20 grams of protein per meal when focused on weight loss.

Regular exercise that includes strength training. Not necessarily “exercise more”, but “exercise smart” by lifting heavy things to slow the loss of muscle during the weight-loss journey. This can be done through the use of weights or even activities that rely on your body weight (think push-ups, squats, pull-ups, or burpees).

Supplement with science. Pure Urolithin A (the ingredient in Timeline’s Mitopure) induces mitophagy and stimulates the generation of healthy mitochondria. In effectively activating this cellular process, Mitopure has been clinically proven to improve muscle strength and physical function — a key ingredient for those using a semaglutide in their journey.

While it’s important to look to science for new solutions, you should also follow the recommendation of medical professionals. Be sure to check in with your doctor before making any changes to your nutritional plan. 

Maximizing the weight-management journey and more

As many are turning to scientific solutions for weight loss, it makes sense to turn to scientific solutions to best support your personal journey. Understanding the role Urolithin A plays in stimulating mitophagy and maintaining cellular health presents new possibilities for mitigating the decline in muscle mass — whether that is due to the natural aging process or due to a medically supported weight-loss program. 

For any of you fellow science lovers, you can read all about the research here — you may have already heard these studies are cellularly fascinating. 

Timeline has a special discount for our readers (making it even easier to support your personal health and weight-management journey). Use code “AGEIST” at checkout and receive 10% off their products.