Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) works by imitating the natural process of the digestive system in response to food intake, which produces hormones called incretins, such as GLP-1 and GIP. These hormones stimulate insulin secretion and inhibit glucagon secretion, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Tirzepatide binds to the receptors of incretins, stimulating insulin secretion and inhibiting glucagon secretion, which helps regulate blood sugar levels, delay gastric emptying, reduce appetite, and improve metabolic health.
In addition to its effects on incretins, tirzepatide also reduces the release of ghrelin, a hormone primarily produced in the stomach that stimulates hunger and increases food intake. Ghrelin can cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to receptors in the hypothalamus, a brain region regulating appetite and energy balance. When ghrelin binds to these receptors, it stimulates the release of orexigenic hormones, resulting in increased food intake and weight gain.
Tirzepatide's ability to reduce ghrelin release can help regulate appetite and reduce food intake, leading to weight loss and improved metabolic health. Additionally, tirzepatide's ability to enhance beta cell function and improve lipid metabolism can contribute to its appetite-reducing effects.
It is essential to note that these effects are side effects of the medication and were not the central focus of its development for diabetes treatment. While further research is necessary to fully understand how tirzepatide achieves its appetite suppression and weight loss effects, its mechanism of action and potential benefits for patients with or without type 2 diabetes are promising.
Overall, tirzepatide has the potential to be an effective weight loss tool for non-diabetics, but it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before considering its use. As with any medication, tirzepatide may have side effects and should only be taken under a doctor's supervision.