Food capsules to beat obesity

Food capsules containing supplements could be the answer to Australia’s obesity epidemic. Scientists believe that they may be able to develop a capsule which tricks the lower intestine into sending ‘full’ signals to the brain, causing the digestive system to behave as if a person has had a gastric bypass.

The capsule would contain supplements which target the lower intestine, causing the body to release hormones which suppress the appetite and help with the release of insulin. It would cause the body to feel full and, according to Professor Ashley Blackshaw, who led the research team, would “stop even the hungriest individual from eating”.

In Australia three in five people are classified as overweight or obese, and gastric bypass surgery is both an extreme and expensive procedure. Professor Blackshaw explained the current procedure, “At the moment, obese patients undergo gastric bypass surgery where they are essentially re-plumbed. Undigested food bypasses the small intestine and is shunted straight to the lower bowel.”

The capsules could be a low-cost alternative to this surgery, and scientists are hopeful that they could be on the market in the next five years. “We believe it’s possible to trick the digestive system into behaving as if a bypass has taken place. This can be done by administering specific food supplements which release strong stimuli in the same area of the lower bowel,” said Professor Blackshaw.

To find out more visit The Telegraph website.

What do you think? Would you take a food capsule to trick your appetite? Could these capsules be a positive cure for obesity in Australia, or a dangerous dieting pill for those who are already unhealthily thin?

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