Medications such as semaglutide have given us a more mainstream understanding of the importance of GLP1s. As these medications mimic the activity of this molecule, we can raise GLP1s naturally in the body.
The Source of GLP1
This molecule is considered a hormone in the body and is produced by cells in the intestines and certain hormones in the brainstem.
Where GLP1s Act
There are receptors for this hormone all over the body:
- Pancreas: beta cells secrete insulin.
- Stomach: slowing down gastric emptying.
- Intestine: increasing nutrient absorption.
- Brain: regulating appetite.
- Heart: protecting against heart attack and stroke.
- Lungs: protecting against lung injury and inflammation.
- Kidneys: protecting against kidney damage.
- Bones: promoting bone formation.
- Immune system: reducing inflammation.
Does it sound to be a little too good to be true? Likely. With any new medications, the hype exceeds its reach. As more time passes, we’ll discover a few more nuances to the effects of GLP1.
Naturally Raising GLP1s
Protein and healthy fats stimulate the release of GLP-1 from L-cells in the small intestine. Good sources of protein include:
- lean meats
- dairy products
Good sources of healthy fats include:
- olive oil
Fiber helps to slow down digestion and absorption of glucose, which can lead to increased GLP-1 release. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Obesity is associated with decreased GLP-1 levels. Losing weight can help to improve GLP-1 sensitivity and secretion.
Sleep deprivation has been shown to decrease GLP-1 levels. Getting enough sleep can help to improve GLP-1 secretion and sensitivity.
Supplements That Raise GLP1
Berberine is a compound found in goldenseal, Oregon grape, and barberry. It has been shown to increase GLP-1 secretion and improve insulin sensitivity.
Fenugreek has been shown to slow down digestion, reduce blood sugar levels, and increase GLP-1 release. Something that has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes.
Ginger is a spice that has a variety of health benefits. It has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce blood sugar levels, and increase GLP-1 release.
Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for gut health. They have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and increase GLP-1 levels.
Whether the supplement form, natural form, or specific extracts are more useful for naturally raising GLP1s is still unknown.
Potential Risks of Too Much GLP1
The following are side effects to consider when raising our natural GLP1 levels or taking medications that mimic the hormone:
Pancreatitis – especially in people with a history of pancreatitis.
Thyroid cancer – especially medullary thyroid cancer.
GI side effects – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Hypoglycemia – more so when taken with other diabetes medications.
Pulmonary embolism – a blood clot that forms in the blood vessels of the lung.
Cognitive impairment – seems more common in the elderly.