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GLP-1 Boosting Foods Could Be New Wave in Weight Loss
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GLP-1 Boosting Foods Could Be New Wave in Weight Loss

As semaglutide products face supply shortages and questions about long-term effects, gut health supplements that claim to naturally boost GLP-1 may start flying off the shelves

Fiber-packed products in the gut health space could offer budget-conscious and semaglutide-wary consumers an injection-free path toward weight loss.

Experts have long referred to the gut as the body’s “second brain” for its impressive system that houses over 100 million nerve cells and communicates with the upper brain — but now, gut health has taken center stage, especially as consumers have become more health-conscious. 

The topic has even found its way onto Netflix, which premiered “Hack Your Health: The Secret of Your Gut” last month. The documentary focuses on microbiome research and gut health’s impact on mental and physical health.

Gut Health Emerges as Massive Market

For many consumers, the quest for good gut health has just begun — and businesses are ready — like Viome, a healthtech and longevity startup that raised $87 million for its at-home microbiome testing kit.

While research is ongoing, experts say that factors such as a diet of ultra-processed foods, antibiotic use and the environment can all contribute to poor gut health. However, a high level of diversity in gut bacteria is helpful in overall health — a key point made in “Hack Your Health: The Secret of Your Gut” — and a lack of it can contribute to conditions such as obesity.

Ozempic, Wegovy and other weight loss drugs mimic the GLP-1 hormone to slow digestion and signal the brain that it’s full. However, certain foods (especially those high in fiber) can naturally trigger the release of the GLP-1 hormone. Fiber has become central to the GLP-1 and weight loss connection: one study found that increasing fiber in the diet can significantly modify the gut microbiome, yet only 7% of adults in the U.S. meet fiber recommendations.

Biohackers and wellness enthusiasts have long been known to use fermented foods to boost gut diversity, but the shift towards whole health wellness has invited new consumers into the fold.

As celebrities begin to shrink and neighbors suddenly look much more svelte, it may seem like everyone is on GLP-1s. A recent poll found that approximately one in eight adults (12%) say they have taken a GLP-1 weight loss medication, including 6% who are currently using them. However, regardless of health insurance coverage, many surveyed reported that it was either “somewhat” or “very difficult” to afford the medications.

Semaglutide Alternatives

Between a high price tag, tight supply (Mounjaro and Zepbound are both showing limited availability through the second quarter) and general uneasiness about the unknown and possible long-term effects of weight loss medications, some products have begun to hit the market offering an affordable alternative.

Supergut, a prebiotic superfood brand that launched in 2022, has quadrupled its sales in the past two quarters and has now partnered with GNC to sell its products that improve digestion and promote weight loss. 

Pivoting to a nationwide retail deal from a direct-to-consumer model could be a game-changer for the brand, which makes Gut Health GLP-1 Booster — a prebiotic fiber mix that can be added to any food or beverage and offers 6 grams of fiber. The brand also makes snack bars and meal replacement shakes and is rolling out to Erewhon, Fresh Thyme Markets and three other retailers in addition to GNC.

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credit: Supergut

Supergut’s founder and CEO Marc Washington says the brand has seen unprecedented demand from consumers and retailers who want to take advantage of the “historic shift” in food, health and nutrition.

The brand uses a patented blend of prebiotic fibers and feeds the good gut microbes, regulating GLP-1 production and signaling the brain to stop eating. The gut health brand was validated for its weight management, blood sugar control and digestion benefits in a clinical study last year. 

As it makes its way across the nation in GNC shops, Supergut is aiming to also offer its products as a solution for those who are tapering off or ending the use of weight loss injections.  

Other brands have also joined Supergut in the gut health space. Benefiber, a brand staple in the fiber segment, has introduced a new variation for weight management – Benefiber Healthy Shape — which offers 5 grams of fiber per serving, more than its original blend which contains 3 grams per serving. Sakara’s Fiber Super Powder offers 6 grams of fiber with its blend of ten prebiotic fruits, vegetables and diverse digestive enzymes. 

High-fiber products in the gut health category are positioned to potentially become the next big thing in wellness. While there remains debate about the ability of non-Semaglutide products to impact GLP-1 enough to drive meaningful weight loss, they could prove helpful to those looking to improve their overall health or help the millions of projected GLP-1 users maintain their weight loss.

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