Elon Musk says he used a popular weight-loss drug to get 'fit, ripped, and healthy'

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  • Elon Musk credited fasting and the weight-loss drug Wegovy for what a fan called his "ripped" body.

  • Its active ingredient is semaglutide, FDA-approved to treat diabetes and manage weight (as of 2021)

  • The drug is expensive and in high-demand, and can come with gastrointestinal side effects.

Elon Musk's short-lived cage fighting prospects aren't the only time the Tesla founder's fitness has been in the spotlight. The business magnate has previously said his secret to looking "fit, ripped, and healthy" is fasting — and the popular weight-loss drug Wegovy.

Musk, 52, touted the drug on the app he renamed X (formerly known as Twitter) last year in response to a fan who said he looked "awesome" and asked him if he was lifting weights and eating healthy.

The richest man in the worldhas repeatedly claimed he seldom works out. In fact, Musk has said doesn't enjoy the gym, and likes to indulge in treats like doughnuts.

He initially pointed to Wegovy, Novo Nordisk's brand of semaglutide, for his figure, and said he also practices intermittent fasting by not eating during specific windows of time.

In total, Musk said he had lost about 20 pounds.

The once-weekly injectable was originally used to help manage diabetes but gained FDA approval in 2021 for "chronic weight management."

It suppresses appetite by balancing out the body's hunger hormones and delaying digestion, and has been shown to lead to a 15% to 20% loss of body weight over 68 weeks, Insider's Gabby Landsverk previously reported.

The drug is only approved for weight loss in people with a body mass index over 30, or over 25 with another condition like type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol. However, people are paying to use it off-label, contributing to shortages as the interest in the drug has spiked on social media.

Musk isn't the only celebrity to fuel the drug's popularity — semaglutide has gained traction with other big names, including Amy Schumer and Chelsea Handler, so much that it became a joke at the 2023 Oscars

The medication's high price tag, at up to $1,349 per month, can also make it out of reach for patients without the perks of fame and fortune

The popularity of semaglutide for weight loss — including for people who may not fit the typical qualifications for a prescription — has also sparked a hot market of cheaper online copycat drugs known as "compounded semaglutide," which some doctors warn may be riskier and less effective.

Semaglutide for weight loss is intended to be used alongside a reduced calorie diet (which the drug makes easier) and increased physical activity, the FDA says. Its most common side effects are gastrointestinal issues like nausea and diarrhea (sometimes severe enough that patients report not making it to the bathroom in time).

Read the original article on Insider