Gyms, nutrition startups race to combat Ozempic muscle loss

A growing number of companies ranging from gyms to meal delivery services are launching new offerings to capitalize on a known issue that can happen for patients on weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy, The New York Times reported Feb. 8. 

While the loss of muscle mass is common across various weight loss methods, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists have been shown to accelerate this decrease. 

"These weight loss drugs, they basically cause the development of frailty in older patients in months instead of years," Mitchell Steiner, MD, CEO of Veru, which is conducting a study on whether a certain compound could help preserve muscle and shed more fat in people 60 and older taking weight loss medication.

Increasing protein intake and strength training are two recommendations physicians typically point to as a way to preserve muscle mass. Luxury gyms and fitness clubs are taking notice and have created tailored training programs for people taking weight loss medications, while nutrition-focused startups are promoting programs centered around protein intake. 

Drugmakers are also exploring ways to prevent muscle loss. Regeneron and Eli Lilly, for example, are among those looking into whether combining weight loss drugs with ones that aim to build muscle could help, though it would likely take years before such options are available to patients, the Times reported. 

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