At Parsley Health, we recently trained our clinicians in prescribing these medications, along with the right nutrition , fitness, and risk-monitoring protocols.
A few of you were surprised: Is Parsley really supporting these meds?! The answer is yes—but only for the right people on a select basis.
The reason is twofold.
First, GLP-1s are a well-established class of diabetes medication that we were already prescribing, but their popularity has recently skyrotcketed. Reminder: these drugs are not new, although newer, more effective variants have come out recently, and more are on the way.
Second, Parsley Health is dedicated to ensuring our clinicians stay updated on the latest medications. This includes a comprehensive understanding of their risks, benefits, and side effects . We ensure these medications are prescribed appropriately and monitored safely, rather than run the risk of our patients self-managing the drug through consumer sites.
Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of this self-management of drugs like Ozempic—and the last thing we want is for you to have to go to some random consumer website to get a prescription medication. Reminder: Parsley Health is here for you!
Parsley's team-wide GLP-1 protocol encompasses optimal nutrition and exercise recommendations to prevent weight regain and muscle mass reduction. We also focus on specific blood tests to monitor liver and pancreatic health while a patient is on these medications and provide guidance on safe titration.
These are just a few examples of how we make sure that GLP-1s are used safely and responsibly. When our patients express interest in or have questions about them, we strive to be a trusted source of perspective. This includes advising some patients against using the drug if it's not appropriate or covered by their insurance , based on their failure to meet certain criteria.
For the record, Parsley Health is neither anti- nor pro-GLP-1. We adopt a personalized approach to clinical guidance for each patient. Along with the greater medical community, we remain cautiously optimistic that some patients will see long-term benefits from these medications.
My personal view? As I recently shared in my newsletter where I tackled this topic in more detail (sign up at robinberzinmd.com ): the popularity of GLP-1s masks an underlying problem.
The core issue is that Americans predominantly consume a diet of which 94% is refined or ultra-refined sugars, flours, simple starches, and chemical additives like MSG. These components are designed to override our brain's satiation signals, leading us to consume far more calories than needed. This situation is outwardly denied by the food industry, yet it is what makes them profitable.
Certainly, obesity is a disease, not merely a "failure of willpower." However, when two-thirds of the U.S. population, including children, are overweight or obese , it's clear that environmental factors like diet and sedentary lifestyles are significant contributors to this modern illness.
I also believe our focus on weight , specifically the number on the scale, is misguided. True measures of metabolic health include balanced blood sugar levels (hemoglobin A1C of 5.5 or less, fasting insulin below 10, and fasting blood sugar around 80), and a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.80 for women and 0.85 for men.
If you’re a Parsley patient and wondering what to think about GLP-1s, schedule a visit with your clinician—all of us are able to have an open discussion on the trade-offs, prescribe if appropriate, help you get insurance coverage if you qualify, and help you find other solutions to your weight goals that may be more sustainable and lower side-effect.
Dr. Robin Berzin is the Founder and CEO of Parsley Health, America's leading holistic medical practice designed to help women overcome chronic conditions. She founded Parsley to address the rising tide of chronic disease in America through personalized holistic medicine that puts food, lifestyle, and proactive diagnostic testing on the prescription pad next to medications. Since founding Parsley in 2016, Dr. Berzin has seen 80% of patients improve or resolve their chronic conditions within their first year of care, demonstrating the life-changing value of making modern holistic medicine accessible to everyone, anywhere. Parsley is available online nationwide.
Dr. Berzin attended medical school at Columbia University and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Her book, Prescription for Happiness: How to Eat, Move, and Supplement for Peak Mental Health, was published by Simon Element in January 2022.