Move over, Dr. Google; with a new health trend every other week, Dr. TikTok is here to take your spot. The last few weeks have been all about Budget Ozempic, a new weight loss trend on TikTok. But registered nutritionists and other healthcare experts are frowning down upon this latest fad. Here’s everything you need to know about Budget Ozempic and why you probably should not consider this path to weight loss.
How Do Laxatives Work?
What Is Budget Ozempic?
"Budget Ozempic" is a term that has been coined by the TikTok community, but it's fundamentally different from the medication "Ozempic," used to treat type 2 diabetes.
In essence, "Budget Ozempic" refers to the compound known as polyethylene glycol 3350 or PEG 3350 for short.
Now, PEG 3350 might sound unfamiliar, but its presence is more common than one might realize.
Chemically, this compound shares similarities with other polymers found in various everyday products - from cosmetics and soaps to paints and even missile fuel components.
PEG 3350 is a key component in laxative and stool-softening products.
Consumers might recognize it in brands such as DulcoSoft and Movicol, often referred to as macrogols.
Apart from alleviating constipation, it's also administered to patients to prepare their bowels prior to a colonoscopy.
How Does Budget Ozempic Promote Weight Loss?
The buzz about "Budget Ozempic" on TikTok has made many curious about how it helps with weight loss. Here's a simple breakdown.
PEG 3350 in "Budget Ozempic" is a type of laxative that pulls water into the intestines to help soften stools.
When you drink something with PEG 3350, the body doesn’t absorb this ingredient.
Instead, PEG 3350 gathers water from your body as it moves through the intestines, making your stools watery.
How does this affect weight?
Since PEG 3350 takes more water out of your body than the amount you drink, it causes a temporary drop in weight.
But it's just making you lose water, not actual body fat.
So, when you drink water next, the body quickly tries to replace what it lost, and you might gain back the weight.
For noticeable weight loss, you’d need to consume a lot of PEG 3350; even then, you’re likely to shed only a couple of pounds.
This mechanism is different from how Ozempic works to manage diabetes.
It acts like some natural hormones in our body that help manage blood sugar and weight.
These hormones slow down how fast the stomach empties, making us feel full for longer and eat less.
This can lead to real and lasting weight loss, unlike the temporary effects of PEG 3350.
Why Are Experts Concerned About This Trend?
Budget Ozempic has raised eyebrows in the health community.
Many experts worry about its potential dangers, especially when used for weight loss.
Anna Mapson, a registered nutritionist, describes the trend as “really worrying.”
She emphasizes that not only are laxatives ineffective for weight loss, but they can also be quite dangerous.
She explains, “When waste products reach our large intestine, our body tries to recycle as many nutrients as possible before elimination.
By skipping this vital process with laxatives, you risk dehydration and losing too many essential minerals.
This can result in dizziness, lethargy, and even kidney disruption. Worse, continuous misuse might damage your gut and liver.”*
Tony Cottenden, a Nutritionist, also expresses his reservations: “When you speed up the movement of food through our system, our body has less time to absorb nutrients, which can lead to deficiencies affecting our overall health.
The risks aren't limited to the gut. Laxative misuse can harm both the heart and the mind. Low potassium and magnesium can lead to heart irregularities and even heart failure.
Psychologically, the temporary weight loss from laxatives can create dependence, escalating the physical risks and possibly leading to eating disorders and other mental health issues.”*
*as taken from Healthline
Dangers And Side Effects Of Budget Ozempic
- Dehydration: Using PEG 3350 can lead to a significant loss of body water, causing symptoms like dizziness, headaches, and dry mouth.
- High salt concentration in blood: This can affect the efficiency of red blood cells to carry oxygen, leading to fatigue and tiredness.
- Heart complications: Incorrect levels of minerals in the blood, especially due to dehydration, can stress the heart, potentially leading to irregular heartbeats or even heart failure.
- Neurological issues: Imbalances from using PEG 3350 can lead to seizures, states of confusion, or even coma.
- Extended use dangers: Those who use PEG 3350-based products over a prolonged period risk withdrawal symptoms like constipation, bloating, weight gain, and fluid retention if they stop suddenly.
- Other side effects: Many users have reported symptoms, including anal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, cramps, abdominal pain, and swelling. Some may also experience allergic reactions.
Other Healthier Routes To Weight Loss
In the world of weight loss, going back to basics might just be the key. Here are some effective, safe, and nutritionally sound strategies to consider:
- Prioritize whole foods over processed ones: Adopting a diet that's high in whole, minimally processed foods can make a world of difference. Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains not only provide essential nutrients but also help manage calorie intake. This strategy allows for a calorie deficit without the risk of nutrient deficiency.
- Increase your fiber intake: Fiber is not just for digestive health. It's a natural appetite suppressant. By including foods rich in fiber, such as legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, you can experience prolonged fullness, which can keep overeating in check.
- Lean on protein: Protein is your ally in weight management. It's slow to digest, helps in muscle building and repair, and promotes a feeling of fullness. Lean protein sources like chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, and low-fat Greek yogurt can be included in meals for sustained energy release and satiety.
Bottomline: Budget Ozempic Is A No Go For Weight Loss
The TikTok trend "Budget Ozempic" is gaining traction for weight loss, but it's crucial to understand its implications. Predominantly, it relies on PEG 3350, a compound in laxatives, and not the diabetes medication "Ozempic." Though it might show temporary weight reduction by dehydrating the body, experts warn of numerous health risks. These include dehydration, potential heart issues, and a high salt concentration in the blood. Registered nutritionists emphasize that genuine weight loss comes from healthier habits: focusing on whole foods, boosting fiber intake, and incorporating lean proteins. As trends come and go, prioritizing long-term health over fleeting fads remains the wisest choice.