Weight-loss injections such as Wegovy and diabetes treatments like Ozempic may have broader medical benefits than previously believed, according to a study conducted on mice. The research suggests that these injections act on the brain to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This finding may explain why these drugs seem to have a greater impact on reducing heart attacks than their weight-loss effects alone would suggest.
Furthermore, this study supports the potential use of these injections in treating a wider range of health conditions associated with inflammation, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, which are currently being investigated in trials. Semaglutide, the active ingredient in these injections, mimics a gut hormone called GLP-1, which regulates appetite and triggers the release of insulin for blood sugar regulation.
Previous studies have suggested that semaglutide not only aids in weight loss but also lowers inflammation. Inflammation is now recognized as a factor in various conditions, including heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. However, it is important to note that the connection between inflammation and these conditions has not yet resulted in new treatments.
The researchers in this study investigated how GLP-1 mimics, including semaglutide, affected inflammation in mice. They found that the GLP-1 mimics reduced the animals' inflammatory response to bacterial infection when injected. However, this effect did not occur in genetically modified mice lacking the GLP-1 receptor on brain cells or in genetically normal mice with a compound blocking the GLP-1 receptor in their brains.
These results indicate that GLP-1 mimics reduce inflammation by acting on brain cells, independent of weight loss. This suggests that the benefits of these drugs extend beyond their weight-loss effects. For example, in a recent trial of Wegovy, the drug began preventing heart attacks before significant weight loss occurred.
While medicines that dampen inflammation theoretically increase the risk of infections, no such observation has been made in people receiving these injections for weight loss or diabetes. This study clarifies the underlying mechanism of these drugs and highlights their potential in treating various conditions related to inflammation.
In conclusion, weight-loss and diabetes injections, such as Wegovy and Ozempic, may have broader medical benefits by reducing inflammation throughout the body. These drugs act on brain cells and are not solely reliant on weight loss for their effects. Further research and clinical trials are needed to fully explore the potential medical applications of these injections in treating conditions associated with inflammation.