The Weight Loss Drug Revolutionizing Cardiac Health
Welcome to the MedEvidence Monday Minute Radio Show hosted by Kevin Gettings of WSOS St Augustine Radio and powered by ENOCRE Research Group. Each Monday morning, Dr. Michael Koren calls in to bring you the latest medical updates with insightful discussions. MedEvidence is where we help you navigate the real truth behind medical research, with both a clinical and research perspective. So sit back, relax and get ready to learn about the truth behind the data in medicine and health care. This is MedEvidence.
Kevin Geddings: 0:30
Dr. Michael Koren joins me live on the studio line, of course, every Monday morning around this time and of course he's a medical doctor, cardiologist, research scientist.
Dr. Michael Koren: 0:38
I am here in cold Philadelphia cold and somewhat gloomy looking Philadelphia but the data coming out of the meetings is actually less than gloomy. In fact, it's very encouraging, and, as you mentioned, one of the major events over the weekend was the release of something called the SELECT study results, and that's a study that involved the drug Ozempic, which people know as a weight loss drug. In this case, it was used to try to prevent cardiovascular complications and in fact it did. We found that people that were taking this medication, compared to placebo, had a 20% reduction in overall cardiovascular complications. So it just shows you that when you treat obesity, you're also treating cholesterol and blood pressure and the end result is better cardiovascular outcomes.
Kevin Geddings: 1:29
Yeah, I saw a news report about that earlier this morning. So my question, I guess, is a layman is Dr, is it because people are losing weight and are becoming healthier because that type of weight loss drug is working, or is there something else going on chemically that's helping the heart?
Dr. Michael Koren: 1:44
It's all of the above. There's a lot of debate about that. In fact, that was the biggest question that people are asking each other. So cholesterol levels went down, blood pressure levels went down, sugar levels went down. Everything moved in the right direction, so it's hard to pinpoint one thing. one of those factors may be more important than others, but the fact is that when you get your weight down, when you eat less, you actually do better from a cardiovascular standpoint.
Kevin Geddings: 2:12
Yeah, hey, if you're just tuning in, that's a voice of Dr. Michael Coran and we appreciate him taking time out. He is at the American Heart Association meetings up in Philadelphia. He's joining us live and he's also, of course, heads the show at Ecore Docs. Go to EncoreDocscom to learn more on how you can participate in leading edge medical research, like the medical research we are talking about right now. So, indeed, in that particular study that you're referencing, there would have been a lot of regular people just like me and others that would have participated in taking this weight loss drug and learning that it had benefits for cardiovascular health.
Dr. Michael Koren: 2:44
Correct, yeah, exactly, the average age for people who participated in the study was 62-year-olds. These were people who had some previous problems with their heart via heart attack, or there was some stroke patients or people that had a history of unstable angina. So all these folks were people who were at high risk for cardiovascular complications. They didn't have to be diabetic. As you recall, Ozempik was originally marketed as a diabetes drug, but at our medical center, at our research center, we've been using it for other things for 10 years now and we found that it has a lot of effects outside of just its effect on blood sugar. But yes, these are people who we see in cardiology offices all the time.
Kevin Geddings: 3:29
Yeah, so I guess the active drug or the main active ingredient is semi-glutenide, or I'm probably not pronouncing it right.
Dr. Michael Koren: 3:36
Yeah, that's what we're talking about. It's a Vmaglutide or semi-glutide? Yeah, the way it's fine.
Kevin Geddings: 3:40
So is it that drug that we think now has heart benefits, or does it have to be in the composition, the way that I guess Novo Nordisk is presenting it?
Dr. Michael Koren: 3:49
Well, Novo Nordisk would like you to believe it's just that drug, but the truth is it's probably this class of drugs and they're called GLP1 agonist, and that stands for glucagon-like peptide, and it's an interesting mechanism. It's actually part of this connection between the gut and the brain and there are hormones that are produced by the gut that tell the brain hey, enough eating, you're full at this point. So the sense of satiety that we get after we eat is not because your stomach is mechanically full, but it's actually due to a hormonal change that occurs that tells your brain hey, we're done, because we can stop eating now.
Kevin Geddings: 4:31
A lot of our listeners, of course, see the ads all over social media that say hey, you know, we can hook you up with , or however you want to pronounce it, for $250 a month or $300 a month. And then we hear that, of course, the actual name brands of these will go via Ozempic may cost you $1,500 a month. So I guess, on behalf of our listeners, doctor, what do they do? What should they do?
Dr. Michael Koren: 4:53
Well, yeah, yeah, talk to your physician. Of course it's not for everybody and of course there are side effects. It's only fair to say that about 10% of patients in the study couldn't take the drug due to GI side effects nausea, dyspepsia, things of that nature. So there are some concerns nothing major from a safety standpoint, but something that should be discussed with the physician and there's a lot of other things. When you get involved in this, you do it in a clinical trial and we are running clinical trials and obesity, so we'd encourage people to give us a call if they're concerned about that or if they're concerned about their cardiovascular risk factors. There are some people that may be a bit overweight, but their problems are so focused on cholesterol or so focused on blood pressure or so focused on heart failure that the first approach shouldn't be related to their weight but rather to those other primary factors. So it gets a little complicated, but definitely do it in conjunction with some sort of medical professional.
Kevin Geddings: 5:53
Well, and it speaks to how you all do things at ENCORE Research Center right, where, if somebody was trying to deal with their obesity and they were attracted to this drug, if you will, they're obviously they can participate in a trial, but they're going to get very aggressive hands-on monitoring and healthcare while they go through that process.
Dr. Michael Koren: 6:11
Yeah, exactly, and it's just emphasis. So you know, for example, if you have a condition that's related to lipoprotein-a, which we spoke about in previous conversation, it should get losing weight. It doesn't get to make any difference, right? So you need to focus on that particular problem. So, in terms of cardiovascular risk, you really need to understand your individual problem and then work with somebody that can help you achieve those goals.
Kevin Geddings: 6:35
Yeah, Well, once again, if you're just hopping in your vehicle, let's voice to Dr. Michael Koren. He's joining us live on the studio line from the American Heart Association meetings in Philadelphia, where there's some pretty exciting news that's coming out. I imagine more news will be forthcoming. When do you get to come back home?
Dr. Michael Koren: 6:50
I'll be back on Wednesday.
Kevin Geddings: 6:51
Dr. Michael Koren: 6:52
Kevin Geddings: 6:53
Well, safe travels and thank you very much for you know, giving us the update and we'll talk with you next Monday.
Dr. Michael Koren: 6:58
Sounds great, Kevin, have a great week.
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This MedEvidence Monday Minute episode uncovers a remarkable development in cardiovascular health - a weight loss drug called Ozempic, which, according to study results, reduces cardiovascular complications. We unpack the implications of these results, the science behind the drug, and its impact on cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar levels.
Dr. Koren also shines a light on the potential side effects of Ozempic and emphasizes the critical role of a physician's guidance before opting for such medications. This episode isn't just about Ozempic but also provides a broader perspective on the role of clinical trials in advancing medical research. Dr. Koren offers valuable advice if you've ever wondered how to manage cardiovascular risk factors. You'll learn that understanding individual problems and working with a professional to achieve health goals is key. Don't miss out on Dr. Koren's expert take on this groundbreaking research and its potential to transform cardiovascular health.
Recording Date: November 13, 2023
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Music: Storyblocks - Corporate Inspired