Pop a pill to feel full

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have developed a brand new weight-loss pill which acts as an ‘imaginary meal’, tricking the body into believing it has eaten calories so that it will burn more fat.

In a study published by the researchers on 5 January 2015 in Nature Medicine, the active compound, fexaramine, was found to stop weight gain, lower cholesterol, control blood sugar and minimise inflammation in mice. It works by sending out signals that normally arise when you eat a lot of food.

Because fexaramine doesn’t absorb into the blood and remains in the gut, the researchers hypothesise it’s also likely that fexaramine won’t cause side effects typical of other weight-loss pills which get absorbed into the blood stream.

However, while the early research is promising, it’s unclear whether, and when, fexaramine will become available. Further research is needed to fully understand fexaramine’s side effects and its much-anticipated role in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity in humans. Ideally, if it were to become available, faxaramine would be prescribed by doctors in conjunction with lifestyle and diet recommendations, as the practice currently stands with other weight-loss treatments.

If it were approved in Australia, would you take fexaramine?

Find out more at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and The Guardian.

Written by leshka



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