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Demystifying Ozempic

In the ever-evolving landscape of health and wellness, new treatments and medications constantly emerge, promising to revolutionise how we manage various conditions. One such medication that has garnered significant attention is Ozempic, particularly for its role in managing type 2 diabetes and its surprising benefits in weight management. As a brand, we often encounter questions about Ozempic, its efficacy, safety, and how it fits into a holistic health plan. This blog aims to demystify Ozempic, providing a clear, comprehensive understanding of this medication from a scientific perspective. Today’s blog will delve into what Ozempic is and how it works in the body. We will look at the impact it has on glucose metabolism. We will also shed light on how it enhances insulin secretion in response to meals, reduces blood glucose levels, and slows gastric emptying regulating appetite and food intake. We will discuss how it helps to improve blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes, thereby reducing the risk of complications associated with diabetes.

One of the more talked-about secondary benefits of Ozempic is its potential to aid in weight loss. Many using Ozempic have reported significant weight reduction, which can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with obesity and diabetes. We will highlight how the weight loss effect happens, whilst also shedding light on the importance of making diet and lifestyle changes for more sustainable long-term benefits. Finally, like any medication, Ozempic comes with its own set of potential side effects and risks. We will discuss its common side effects including gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and constipation.

While Ozempic can be a powerful tool for managing diabetes and supporting weight loss, it should not be viewed as a standalone solution. For optimal results, it is essential to integrate Ozempic with comprehensive lifestyle and nutritional changes. We will highlight what this may look like, including the foods that can complement the effects of Ozempic, helping to sustain healthy blood sugar levels and promote weight management. Of course, as advocates of a full body approach, we will cover the role of regular physical activity, stress management, and adequate sleep which are also vital components of a holistic health plan that supports overall well-being. AlthoughOzempic offers promising benefits for those managing type 2 diabetes and weight issues, it is most effective when used as part of a broader, holistic approach to health. At EQUI, we understand the importance of comprehensive support for weight management and overall wellness. That’s why we’ve developed Lean Formula, a nourishing and stimulating complex of 50 nutrients designed to support and sustain healthy weight management while energising, nourishing, and balancing the whole body. Shop Lean Formula here.

What is Ozempic & How Does it Work?

Ozempic, also known by its generic name semaglutide, is a medication primarily used to manage type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. These medications mimic the action of the naturally occurring hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which plays a vital role in glucose metabolism. Ozempic’s efficacy stems from its multifaceted approach to managing blood sugar levels. First and foremost, it enhances insulin secretion. GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic stimulate the pancreas to release insulin in response to meals, helping to lower blood sugar levels when they rise postprandially (after eating). This is particularly important for those with type 2 diabetes, who often have impaired insulin secretion. Secondly, Ozempic reduces the release of glucagon, another hormone produced by the pancreas. Glucagon typically works to raise blood sugar levels by signalling the liver to release stored glucose. By inhibiting this process, Ozempic helps to prevent excessive glucose release, contributing to more stable blood sugar levels. Another critical aspect of Ozempic’s mechanism is its effect on gastric emptying. By slowing the rate at which the stomach empties food into the intestines, Ozempic helps to prolong the feeling of fullness after eating. This not only aids in blood sugar control by slowing the absorption of glucose but also can contribute to weight loss, a beneficial side effect for many patients with type 2 diabetes who struggle with obesity.

In the UK, Ozempic is approved primarily for the treatment of adults with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes as an adjunct to diet and exercise. It can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medications. The primary goal of Ozempic in this context is to improve glycaemic control and help prevent the long-term complications associated with poorly managed diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, and nerve damage.Beyond its primary indication for diabetes management, Ozempic has garnered attention for its potential off label use in weight management. Clinical studies have shown that Ozempic can lead to significant weight loss in individuals with type 2 diabetes (1). This weight loss effect is attributed to Ozempic’s action on gastric emptying and appetite regulation, making it a valuable tool for managing obesity, which is a common comorbidity in type 2 diabetes.

In terms of further research, the SUSTAIN clinical trial programme demonstrated that Ozempic significantly reduces HbA1c levels (a marker of long-term blood glucose control) and body weight compared to placebo and other diabetes medications (2). Additionally, the STEP trials have provided robust evidence supporting the use of semaglutide for weight management, showing substantial weight reductions in individuals without diabetes as well (3). However, whilst the SUSTAIN trial was a large study of 8’000 patients with type 2 diabetes, the STEP trial was a short duration study on obese women, who were already committed to other lifestyle changes to lose weight such as diet and other factors. No studies have been carried out on the use of Ozempic on normal weight patients and we do need further studies to confirm the efficacy of Ozempic versus diet and lifestyle.

Benefits & Efficacy of Ozempic

Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that has garnered significant attention for its multifaceted benefits in managing type 2 diabetes, promoting weight loss, and offering cardiovascular protection. Its primary mechanism involves enhancing insulin secretion, reducing glucagon release, and slowing gastric emptying, which collectively contribute to its efficacy. The foremost benefit of Ozempic is its ability to improve glycaemic control in those with type 2 diabetes. By enhancing the secretion of insulin in response to elevated blood glucose levels and simultaneously reducing the release of glucagon, Ozempic helps maintain more stable blood sugar levels. This dual action is particularly beneficial for patients who struggle to achieve adequate glycaemic control with other medications. Clinical trials have demonstrated significant reductions in HbA1c levels, a key marker of long-term blood glucose control, in patients treated with Ozempic (4). They demonstrated that patients treated with Ozempic experienced an average reduction in HbA1c of 1.5% and a weight loss of 4.5 kg over 30 weeks (5). These trials consistently show that Ozempic outperforms placebo (i.e. doing nothing) and some other diabetes medications in managing blood sugar levels. However, it does not determine whether it is better than good old diet and lifestyle measures!

A secondary, yet highly significant benefit of Ozempic is its role in weight management. Many people with type 2 diabetes also struggle with obesity, and weight loss can significantly improve metabolic health and reduce the risk of complications. Ozempic contributes to weight loss by slowing gastric emptying, which prolongs the feeling of fullness after meals, and by reducing appetite. Clinical trials have shown that semaglutide induces substantial weight loss, even in individuals without diabetes, by promoting these mechanisms (6). This dual benefit of glycaemic control and weight loss makes Ozempic a hot new drug in the comprehensive management of type 2 diabetes and weight management. Beyond glycaemiccontrol and weight loss, Ozempic offers some cardiovascular benefits. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among individuals with type 2 diabetes (7). Ozempic has been shown to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke due to its blood sugar and weight loss benefits.

While the short- to medium-term benefits of Ozempic are clear, there is a caveat regarding its long-term use. Long-term studies are still needed to fully understand the sustainability of its effects and potential long-term risks. It is also crucial to highlight that while medications like Ozempic can provide significant benefits, they should ideally complement, not replace, comprehensive lifestyle modifications. Better diet and lifestyle choices, including regular physical activity and a balanced diet, remain fundamental for long-term health and can often address the root causes of type 2 diabetes and obesity more sustainably.

Potential Side Effects & Risks

Ozempic (semaglutide) has shown promise in managing type 2 diabetes and promoting weight loss, but like any medication, it comes with a range of potential side effects and risks. Understanding these is crucial for making informed decisions about its use and ensuring safe and effective treatment. The most frequently reported side effects of Ozempic are gastrointestinal in nature. These include nausea, diarrhoea, and constipation. Nausea is the most common side effect, often occurring when starting the medication or increasing the dose. It typically subsides as the body adjusts to the drug. Like nausea, vomiting can occur during the initial stages of treatment and may decrease over time. Some patients experience diarrhoea, which can vary in severity. It’s important to maintain hydration and consult a healthcare provider if it becomes severe. While less common than other gastrointestinal issues, some patients may experience constipation as their digestive system adjusts to the medication. These side effects can vary significantly among individuals, with some experiencing mild symptoms and others finding them more severe. Managing these symptoms often involves starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing it, allowing the body to adapt.

While common side effects are generally manageable, Ozempic also carries more serious risks that require close medical supervision. There have been reports of pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, in some patients using GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Other risks associated with taking Ozempic, like with any drug include acute kidney injury and allergic reactions. Other considerations include loss of muscle mass and rebound weight-gain when medication has stopped without any dietary or lifestyle changes being implemented. This brings us nicely onto our final discussion!

The Importance of Lifestyle & Nutritional Changes

Ozempic (semaglutide) has emerged as a potent medication for managing type 2 diabetes and promoting weight loss. However, relying solely on Ozempic without addressing lifestyle and nutritional factors is not a sustainable strategy for long-term health. While Ozempic can significantly aid in controlling blood sugar levels and reducing weight, these benefits are maximised when combined with comprehensive lifestyle modifications, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity.

One of the mechanisms by which Ozempic promotes weight loss is by reducing appetite and slowing gastric emptying, leading to a decreased caloric intake. While this can be effective in the short term, simply eating less does not address the underlying nutritional needs or lifestyle habits that contribute to long-term health. Sustainable health improvements require more than just caloric reduction; they need a holistic approach that includes nutrient-dense foods, physical activity, and behavioural changes. To optimise weight loss, it is crucial to incorporate lifestyle modifications that support overall health and well-being. A balanced diet rich in high-fibre foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats can complement the effects of weight loss by promoting satiety, stabilising blood sugar levels, and providing essential nutrients.Incorporating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes will provide essential fibre which not only aids in digestion but also helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and prolongs the feeling of fullness. What’s more, including a palm-sized portion of lean protein with each meal such as chicken, fish, beans, and tofu can help reduce hunger whilst healthy fats can help improve satiety. Finally, don’t avoid fats – they won’t make you gain weight specifically. Focus on adding a thumb-sized portion or sprinkling of healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olives, or drizzle of olive oil can help stop you overeating later in the day. Of course, we all understand that regular exercise is vital for maintaining a healthy weight, improving cardiovascular health, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. Aim for just 30 minutes a day which can make all the difference. A simple hack would be to go for a ten-minute walk following each meal consumed as this can significantly reduce blood glucose levels.

For those seeking to enhance their weight management efforts, EQUI Lean Formula offers a nourishing, stimulating complex of 50 nutrients designed to support healthy weight management. Lean Formula boosts metabolism, balances blood sugar, curbs cravings, enhances energy, and reduces fatigue. Additionally, it takes a full body holistic approach, supporting hormone balance, gut health, and overall well-being too, helping you feel fuller for longer and sustain your long-term health goals. Shop Lean Formula here.

Disclaimer: All of the information on this website is provided for general information only, it should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional providing personalised nutrition or lifestyle advice. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. No one diet or supplement regime works for everyone and you should always seek help from a GP and registered health expert before making changes to your diet, or before introducing any supplements. This is especially important when pregnant. Those using Ozempic whilst making other changes should regularly monitor their progress by tracking blood sugar levels, weight, and overall health markers. Healthcare professionals play a crucial role in guiding individuals through the use of Ozempic and accompanying lifestyle changes. Regular consultations with a healthcare provider can help adjust the treatment plan as needed, address any side effects, and provide support and motivation for maintaining healthy habits.


1. Davies, M., Pieber, T. R., Hartoft-Nielsen, M. L., Hansen, O. K. H., Jabbour, S., & Rosenstock, J. (2017). Effect of oral semaglutide compared with placebo and subcutaneous semaglutide on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA, 318(15), pp. 1460-1470.
2. Aroda, V. R., Ahmann, A., Cariou, B., Chow, F., Frias, J. P., Manojlovic, M., ... & Buse, J. B. (2019). Comparative efficacy, safety, and cardiovascular outcomes with once-weekly semaglutide in the SUSTAIN 2 to 5 trials in the context of the SUSTAIN 6 cardiovascular outcomes trial. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 45 (5), pp. 409-418
3. Wilding, J. P., Batterham, R. L., Calanna, S., Davies, M., Van Gaal, L. F., Lingvay, I., ... & Matthews, D. R. (2021). Once-weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 384(11), pp. 989-1002.
4. Aroda, V. R., Ahmann, A., Cariou, B., Chow, F., Frias, J. P., Manojlovic, M., ... & Buse, J. B. (2019). Comparative efficacy, safety, and cardiovascular outcomes with once-weekly semaglutide in the SUSTAIN 2 to 5 trials in the context of the SUSTAIN 6 cardiovascular outcomes trial. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 20(4), pp. 409-418
5. Sorli, C., Harashima, S. I., Tsoukas, G. M., Unger, J., Karsbøl, J. D., Hansen, T., ... & Bain, S. C. (2017). Efficacy and safety of once-weekly semaglutide monotherapy versus placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN 1): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multinational, multicentre phase 3a trial. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 5(4), pp. 251-260.
6. Wilding, J. P., Batterham, R. L., Calanna, S., Davies, M., Van Gaal, L. F., Lingvay, I., ... & Matthews, D. R. (2021). Once-weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 384(11), pp. 989-1002.
7. Marso, S. P., Bain, S. C., Consoli, A., Eliaschewitz, F. G., Jódar, E., Leiter, L. A., ... & Seufert, J. (2016). Semaglutide and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine, 375(19), pp. 1834-1844.



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