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Ozempic Patients Say It Changes How Food Tastes, and Science Now Has an Answer

New research shows that GLP-1 weight-loss drugs can affect your taste buds.

While it's only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, there's no question that Ozempic is making many people lose weight. But that's not the only thing Ozempic and other drugs like it are doing. In addition to the well-documented physical side effects, there have also been reports of behavioral changes, and other more unexpected symptoms. Now, some Ozempic patients are saying that it not only makes them eat less, but also changes the way food tastes.

RELATED: Ozempic Foods to Avoid: 7 Things You Can't Eat on Weight-Loss Drugs.

In a March 5 post on X, obesity and lipid specialist physician Spencer Nadolsky, DO, reported on the effect weight-loss drugs like Ozempic are having on some users' taste buds.

"Many patients on GLP-1 meds (eg Wegovy, Ozempic, etc) say that their taste preferences change and even taste in general," he wrote. "One person just said they can't stand the taste of soda or coffee anymore."

This change in taste, which is known as dysgeusia, is a "commonly discussed side effect of Ozempic on blog sites," per

According to the website, patients have reported food tasting too salty; salads, chips, coffee, or dark chocolate tasting exceptionally bitter; having a metallic taste in the mouth whenever they eat; food tasting distorted or strange; having an unpleasant sulfur smell or taste; changes in taste preferences, like now preferring kale to chicken; and their mouth feeling dry while on the medication.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that more than 0.4 percent of Ozempic users have reported dysgeusia as a side effect.

Now, new research has shown that semaglutide medications—which include Ozempic and its sister drug prescribed for weight loss, Wegovy—can influence people's taste sensitivity.

RELATED: Women Report New Surprising Ozempic Side Effects: "Your Body Is Going to Change."

For this study, which was presented June 1 at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Boston, researchers from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia gathered 30 women with obesity and assigned them either 1 milligram of semaglutide or a placebo for 16 weeks.

During this time, they measured the participants' "taste sensitivity using strips containing different concentrations of four basic tastes." Researchers also "used functional MRI to measure brain responses to a sweet solution dripping onto the tongue before and after the women ate a standard meal," and "administered a tongue biopsy to evaluate the participants' mRNA expression in the collected tongue tissue," according to the study's press release.

The results confirmed what many people on these medications have been reporting. Those who were prescribed semaglutide ended up experiencing changes in taste perception, taste bud gene expression, and brain activity when responding to sweet tastes.

"People with obesity often perceive tastes less 'intensely,' and they have an inherently elevated desire for sweet and energy-dense food," study lead Mojca Jensterle Sever, PhD, of the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia, said in a statement. "Our findings build upon preliminary animal studies showing that central administration of GLP-1RA medications impacts taste aversion to sweetness."

This shifting taste sensitivity from semaglutide medications like Ozempic could be what helps control food intake, as a person's feelings toward certain foods (namely sweets) may shift from rewarding to neutral.

"The general public will be interested to learn of the potential novel effects of this popular therapeutic class widely used for the treatment of diabetes and obesity," Jensterle Sever said. "Clinicians will likely correlate the findings with reports from their patients on changes in desire for certain foods, which go beyond broad changes in appetite and satiety that help them lose weight."

Best Life reached out to Novo Nordisk (the maker of Ozempic and Wegovy) for comment on the study's findings, and we will update this story with its response.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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