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Artificial intelligence has uncovered two plants that provide the same weight loss results as Ozempic, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Catholic University of Murcia in Spain reported that the plants contain similar agonists – a substance mimicking a hormone response – to those in Ozempic.

AI software analyzed thousands of natural compounds that could offer the same weight loss components and eventually narrowed down two plant extracts.

Researchers set out to find a plant alternative due to many individuals experiencing side effects and regaining weight once of the prescription drug.

The team also said that not only would the plants be easier on the body, but they would also be more accessible and cost effective – Ozempic costs about $936 a month.

They are not naming the plant extracts – which for now have been named Compound A and Compound B – until they patent them for a new weight loss drug. 

Ozempic¿s maker, Novo Nordisk, is preparing to release anew drug, amycretin. Early results from the drug¿s safety trial suggest it can help users shed weight twice as quickly as Ozempic

Ozempic’s maker, Novo Nordisk, is preparing to release anew drug, amycretin. Early results from the drug’s safety trial suggest it can help users shed weight twice as quickly as Ozempic

Weight loss drugs surged last year, with Ozempic taking the lead as the most-used option

Weight loss drugs surged last year, with Ozempic taking the lead as the most-used option

Ozempic was released in 2017 to treat people with diabetes, but was late found to help people lose weight by suppressing their appetite. 

Since been proclaimed as a ‘miracle drug,’ use of it has by 300 percent in less than three years, with prescriptions hitting nine million in the US as of September 2023. 

Morgan Stanley analysts have projected that over the next 10 years, 24 million people – seven percent of the US population – will be taking Ozempic or Wegovy.

But users have reported spats of nausea and vomiting, along mental health issues like anxiety and irritability when taking the weekly injections.

To address these issues, scientists wanted to ‘focus on plant extracts and other natural compounds because they may have fewer side-effects’ and options that  could be taken orally rather than an injection. 

But the alternative needed to still activate the GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor, which is how Ozempic triggers the body’s weight loss response.

Ozempic can cost as much as $935 per month before health insurance, while the cost overseas hovers around $100 on average

Ozempic can cost as much as $935 per month before health insurance, while the cost overseas hovers around $100 on average

‘Drugs that aren’t peptides may have fewer side effects and be easier to administer, meaning they could be given as pills rather than injections,’ said Elena Murcia, a co-author of the study and a member of the Structural Bioinformatics and High-Performance Computing Research Group (BIO-HPC).

The team used an AI-powered software to sift through more than 10,000 compounds to identify those that bound to the GLP-1 receptor.

Next, other AI-based methods investigated how closely these bonds resembled those that occur between the GLP-1 hormone and its receptor. 

The team identified 100 from the group for a visual analysis, which produced a set of 65 compounds that were put through a mathematical graph to pinpoint those with the highest potential as GLP1-R agonists.

And that is when the team landed on Compound A and Compound B.

The study noted that the researchers are not revealing the name of the plants until they have patented them for a new weight loss drug. 

The compounds come from very common plants, according to the report, which said the ‘extracts of which have been associated with beneficial effects on the human metabolism in the past.’

‘Computer-based studies such as ours have key advantages, such as reductions in costs and time, rapid analysis of large data sets, flexibility in experimental design, and the ability to identify and mitigate any ethical and safety risks before conducting experiments in the laboratory,’ said Murcia.

‘These simulations also allow us to take advantage of AI resources to analyze complex problems and so provide a valuable initial perspective in the search for new drugs.’

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This post first appeared on Daily mail

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