Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1) agonist that increases insulin, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. It has been noted to enhance beta cell growth in the pancreas, also potentially helping with insulin production. It inhibits glucagon, the hormone that increases blood sugar, and can reduce food intake via appetite reduction.
Stimulating GLP-1 can improve function in most organs. This can provide benefits to combat aging diseases by improving cardiac output, reducing inflammation, helping with kidney function, adding neural protection and regeneration, and increasing glucose to muscles.
It is important to start with a low dose and work up from there. Heart rate increases can occur but the cardioprotective qualities of the drug generally outweigh that risk. Those with a family history of rare medullary thyroid cancer would be advised against taking semaglutide.
Overall, semaglutide in its various forms is a safe medication with tremendous health benefits. Discoveries like the neuroprotective benefits of semaglutide are exciting, as the current arsenal of ways to impact those with dementia or other aging diseases is limited.