One in eight Americans is on Ozempic, a drug developed to treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar, or one of its cousin GLP-1 agonists. Nearly half of these patients, though, are using it primarily for weight loss. This is a huge mistake. I tell all my patients to avoid Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and other semaglutide drugs for two reasons:

  1. They are dangerous—any benefits gained come at a cost
  2. There are safe, natural alternatives for blood sugar regulation and weight loss

Those who are at risk of serious or life-threatening harm from blood sugar dysregulation might consider a GLP-1 agonist as an emergency measure to buy time—time to work on the discipline to implement a long-term diet and exercise regimen to return blood sugar and weight to healthy levels. Everyone else should take a pass.

These drugs do assist with short-term blood sugar control, and they do provoke weight loss. Much of these gains, though, are lost once the medication is discontinued. And at $1,000 or more per month, the drug is unlikely to be continued indefinitely. What's more, up to a third of the weight loss associated with GLP-1 agonists comes from muscle, not fat. When the drug is stopped, the fat returns. The muscle doesn't. Insulin resistance—the precursor to diabetes—may then become even stronger and more difficult to treat.

Additional medical complications come with the Ozempic family. Thyroid cancer risk goes up. Constipation and diarrhea are common. Gastroparesis, also called stomach paralysis, is not rare. These are not minor side effects for the use of a drug that is more likely than not simply being used as a crutch to support a poor diet and lack of proper exercise.

Many commonly available foods, if included in one's daily diet, improve insulin and blood sugar regulation. They are sold everywhere, and they cost far less than Ozempic.

Natural foods that promote weight loss and blood sugar control

radishes
pomegranates
chia seeds
cinnamon
ocra
ginger
curcumin
garlic
hibiscus flower

These foods can be easily incorporated into meals, snacks, and drinks. They don't promote cancer or prevent digestion. In fact, many are anti-inflammatory and improve digestion. Simply consuming two tablespoons a day of chia seeds has been shown to provoke a 20-point lowering of blood sugar levels within 30 days.

Although short cuts are always less than ideal, many of the health benefits of these natural foods can be obtained through supplements as well. Supplements cannot negate an unhealthy diet, but they can certainly support one that is moving toward health.

Below is a link to my blood sugar regulation supplement plan I provide my patients. I am now sharing it with my Substack subscribers. To access the plan, you must first create a free patient account at Fullscript by entering your name and email address: Dr. Mark McDonald’s Fullscript dispensary Watch a one-minute video on how to create an account below.

Supplements on a wooden spoon
Supplement plan