Health

I’m on a Newer Weight Loss Drug. Should I Take a Supplement?

To say the excitement about newer weight loss drugs has reached a fever pitch would be an understatement. These drugs — including semaglutide (Wegovy, Ozempic), which are GLP-1 receptor agonists, and tirzepatide (Zepbound, Mounjaro), which are GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonists — are incredibly effective for weight loss, so it’s no wonder why.

For example, in a 2023 meta-analysis of 41 trials and more than 15,000 participants who had obesity or overweight but no diabetes, GLP-1 receptor agonists were associated with reduced body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference compared with control groups. These drugs can result in greater insulin release, slower stomach emptying, and a reduced appetite. There’s also research to suggest GLP-1s decrease “food noise,” a term that refers to intrusive thoughts about food. When you’re paying less attention to food, you may not eat as much.

Along with a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may result from these drugs, and these factors can certainly impact what and how much you’re eating. This in turn increases the risk of nutrient deficiencies, which raises the question: Is adding a supplement to your regimen prudent if you’re on a newer weight loss drug?

We talked with two registered dietitian-nutritionists to find out.

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