Ozempic can cause major loss of muscle mass and reduce bone density

Many people taking drugs like Ozemic or Wegovy experience rapid weight loss.  

“According to a clinical trial of Ozempic, after 68 weeks on the medication, 86.4% of participants lost 5% or more of their body weight, and 69.1% lost 10% or more of their body weight.”

While weight loss can bring about health benefits, losing weight rapidly can also cause a decrease in muscle mass, lessen bone density, and lower your resting metabolic rate, leading to sarcopenia — the gradual loss of muscle mass, strength, and function.

“Sarcopenia affects the elderly population and typically is associated with aging. However, rapidly losing weight with GLP-1s like Ozempic or Wegovy without the proper diet and exercise can also cause sarcopenia (sometimes referred to as ‘skinny fat’) at any age, negatively affecting a person’s quality of life by reducing their stamina and ability to perform daily activities, such as easily walking up stairs,” Dr. Rekha Kumar, a practicing endocrinologist in NYC and Chief Medical Officer of Found, said.

Sarcopenic obesity mimics obesity, she added, and occurs when a person’s BMI is in the normal or low range, but their levels of lean muscle are so low that fat and bones are the only metabolically active tissue.

“It’s important to note that a lower body weight does not always mean that a person is healthier. After some weight loss is achieved and a person reaches a plateau, it is important to assess body composition.”

Because the weight loss process is so fast, she said people need to be extra vigilant in their nutritional intake, specifically increasing their intake of protein, to avoid sarcopenic obesity.

“Additionally, while a benefit of GLP-1s has generally shown positive cardiovascular outcomes data (less heart attacks, less strokes, less cardiovascular death), I predict that this benefit won’t be there if patients have sarcopenic obesity,” said Kumar.

Source: Healthline