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What is GLP-1 and how does it work?

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that has a number of benefits, particularly for people with type 2 diabetes.  

Therefore, GLP-1 RA (receptor agonist) treatments have been developed to mimic the function of the GLP-1 hormone and increase its effect as it occurs in people without type 2 diabetes. 

GLP-1 RA is a class of non-insulin medication that assists your body’s natural ability to regulate blood sugar and appetite.

GLP-1 RA can help reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, by preventing arterial damage in people with type 2 diabetes who have established cardiovascular disease. 


How does GLP-1 work?



GLP-1 RA may help reduce your cardiovascular risk by preventing or slowing the progression of atherosclerosis* as well as by lowering blood pressure and lipid levels.

*Atherosclerosis is also known as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease – try saying that five times fast!But you can call it ASCVD for short.

Bonus fact #1
ASCVD is a specific type of heart disease where high blood sugar causes progressive damage to artery walls, leading to blockages from the build-up of fats, cholesterol and other material. This build-up restricts blood flow, increasing the risk of clots.
Artery Walls

Liver and pancreas

GLP-1 RA helps maintain normal blood glucose levels by telling your pancreas when to release more insulin when needed.
At the same time, it also suppresses the release of stored sugar from your liver.


GLP-1 RA helps support weight loss by working in the part of your brain that regulates your appetite and food intake.


It’s all about balance!
By getting your blood glucose and weight under control early, you greatly reduce your risk of future complications such as heart failure.
However, even if you suffer a heart attack or stroke, there are treatments that can help reduce the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events.
Want to know more?
Ask your doctor if a GLP-1 RA is right for you.
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