Surprising benefits of Ozempic

It’s the diabetes drug that’s caused a worldwide weight-loss phenomenon. But did you know Ozempic also has a number of other health benefits?

Over the past 12 months, semaglutide – better known by its commercial name Ozempic – has taken the world by storm. It seems like everyone, from A-list celebrities to regular people on the street, are using it and seeing dramatic results.

Manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, Ozempic was originally formulated as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. It helps manage blood sugar levels and also lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke for diabetes patients.

But that’s not why it’s become so popular. One of the side-effects of lower blood sugar levels, when combined with improved diet and exercise, is weight loss. Users found the drug also suppressed their appetite.

It’s a potent and effective combination, and the drug soon exploded in popularity. So much so that global supplies quickly became strained – a dangerous situation for diabetics that is still ongoing.

But beyond combating diabetes and assisting weight loss, researchers have found a number of other positive side-effects of Ozempic – could it be something of a wonder drug?

Kidney disease

A recent study from Monash University found Ozempic also had a positive effect on the kidneys and heart – even in non-diabetic patients.

Professor Mark Cooper, co-author of the study, told Medical News Today it was unclear exactly how Ozempic helped these organs function, but his team suspected it had something to do with Ozempic’s effects on inflammation.

“We’ve discovered that these drugs not only improve diabetes and lose weight but seem to have a benefit in the heart and kidney,” he said.

“And this has been a bit of a surprise, because the way the drugs historically worked, there was no clear-cut explanation for why they would be beneficial in the kidney and the heart.

“The studies showed that these drugs have extra effects, in addition to lowering glucose and reducing body weight, because they are very powerful at reducing inflammation.

“People with diabetes who are taking these drugs have very high risk of kidney and heart disease. So, it’s an extra benefit of this class of drugs, and it’s working through this action on inflammation.”

Treating addiction

Many people around the world have reported quitting smoking, drinking, taking drugs and even gambling as a result of taking Ozempic.

Scientists believe the link is with a hormone known as glucagon-like peptide 1, or GLP-1 for short.

This naturally occurring hormone stimulates the production of insulin, slows digestion, curbs appetite, and seems to dull the pleasure response we get from addictive behaviours like smoking or drinking.

Ozempic is a GLP-1 agonist, which means it stimulates production of GLP-1. The flood of GLP-1 in the brain helps regulate the excessive ‘pleasure loops’ that those with addictions can experience.

Professor Luba Yammine, an addiction researcher, told National Geographic that although more research is needed, she thinks the part of the brain responsible for food cravings overlaps with the part of the brain that is responsible for cravings for other things.

She made that determination after working with diabetic patients prescribed Ozempic, many of whom were also smokers.

Prof. Yammine soon noticed after Ozempic’s introduction that many of her patients had quit smoking, some after decades of trying.

“That was a very interesting finding,” she said.

“It’s hard to quit smoking, period. The vast majority of smokers want to quit, but even with the use of these therapies, many of them are not successful.”

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Ozempic has shown heart benefits for those with diabetes, but a study published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine proved it can also help the hearts of those without diabetes.

In particular, the study showed Ozempic was effective at treating a condition known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

In patients with HFpEF, your heart muscle can pump blood to the rest of your body, but the heart muscle does not stretch well.

When the heart muscle doesn’t stretch, pressure can build up inside the heart. This can cause fluid to leak into the space surrounding your lungs and into other parts of your body.

Eventually, this causes shortness of breath and swelling of the arms and legs.

In the Ozempic study, researchers randomly assigned 529 patients with HFpEF and a body-mass index of 30 or higher to receive a 2.4mg dose of semaglutide or a placebo for 52 weeks. 

The results showed patients who received the drug experienced fewer symptoms and reported a better overall quality of life, compared to those who were given the placebo. Patients given Ozempic also showed greater improvements in exercise function and weight loss.

Do you take Ozempic? How has it benefited you? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Hunt on for ‘cowboy’ pharmacist behind fake Ozempic and Mounjaro

Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. There they go using the BMI again don’t they keep up to date because if they did they would know mthat the BMI is no-longer being used because it gives false information as it doesn’t take into account body structure such as bone density and muscle structure and it was developed by somebody that knew nothing about the human body.

- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -