What I'm reading: "After obesity drugs’ success, companies rush to preserve skeletal muscle"

The success of Ozempic will lead to anti-aging drugs

We might soon have pharmaceuticals to preserve muscle as we age — something that was once thought impossible

What I'm reading: A new article in Nature Biotechnology titled, After obesity drugs’ success, companies rush to preserve skeletal muscle.

Background: Over the past few years, we've gotten several effective and massively popular weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro. Such drugs cause loss of both fat and muscle. The first is good. The second is not.

The good news: A number of clinical trials are under way to test pharmaceuticals to preserve muscle mass that follows obesity treatments.

Previously, muscle loss was thought to be an issue that doesn't respond to drugs. And yet, we now have several promising phase 1 and phase 2 studies for drugs that not only preserve muscle but also improve fat loss — since more muscle makes it easier to lose fat.

Why this is a big deal: These new drugs won't just help people who lose weight via drugs like Ozempic. They also will apply to age-related muscle loss, which is both caused by aging and which also contributes to aging via frailty, limited mobility, lower energy. One Phase 1b study in bedridden patients aged 65+ showed significantly reduced muscle loss.

So, what specifically can you do now: Considering the success of weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro, interest in muscle-preserving drugs is suddenly high. It's likely we will see pharmaceutical solutions for this problem in the next few years.

In the meantime, the best advice to preserve your muscle is old and familiar. Practice resistance exercise, and eat enough protein. These two lifestyle decisions will keep you stronger and healthier until exciting new therapies arrive.