February 26, 2024


Dietitians everywhere know that no matter how inventive a chef you may be, nothing gets you buzzing like sugary or fatty foods.

Now science may have the answer: a vibrating pill, swallowed before eating, that creates feelings of fullness.

The research, which has yet to be carried out in humans, shows that after 30 minutes of activity through the Vibes pill, pigs ate an average of almost 40% less food in the next half hour than they did without the device, and gained more weight. slow.

The Vibes name is an acronym derived from the pill’s full title – Vibrating Ingestible BioElectronic Stimulator.

The work in pigs suggests that the vibrations activate stretch receptors in the stomach, simulating the presence of food.

This results in signals being sent via the vagus nerve to the hypothalamus in the brain, which increases the levels of various hormones that give rise to a feeling of satiety and the decrease that leads to feelings of hunger.

“We envision the Vibes pill to be taken 20 to 30 minutes before expected meals on a relatively empty stomach to induce the desired sensation of satiety early in the meal,” the team writes, adding that when produced at scale , the cost of the pills is expected to be in the cent to one dollar range.

The vibrations, powered by a battery encased in the swallowed capsule, can be triggered when stomach acid dissolves a membrane around the pill, or by a timer.

The researchers say the pills, which are about the size of a large vitamin tablet, offer a non-invasive, temporary therapy, without the need for weight loss surgery, and leave the body with other solid waste – meaning they are flushed into humans . down the toilet.

However, they suggest that it may be possible to develop pills that are implanted, or stay in the stomach, to reduce the need for people to take them repeatedly if they need ongoing therapy.

“This approach offers an alternative and potentially synergistic approach to other therapies available today,” says Giovanni Traverso, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an author of the research.

The pill does not involve the use of drugs that can carry significant side effects, he added.

Recently, initial excitement about “slim bumps” like Wegovy has been tempered by some people who experience problems such as feeling constantly nauseous.

The firm behind Wegovy, Novo Nordisk, is one of the funders of the research into the vibrating pill.



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