We know that there are weight loss drugs out in the market that do the job of making people lose weight as well as help them control their hunger as well as appetite so as not overeat and then face weight issues. But the problem with weight loss drugs is that they are currently way too expensive to even be considered in the affordable category which means that people who really need it and can’t spend too much on them are losing out on its benefits. For this reason, MIT scientists have started to do their research on a weight loss pill that vibrates inside your body and needs to be taken before your meals.
A report mentions that MIT scientists see this as similar “to drinking a glass full of water prior to eating. Dieticians recommend the latter as a method for sending signals to your brain to simulate the sensation of being full. The researchers behind the new project further suggest it as a future alternative to surgery and GLP-1s. The latter, which includes semaglutides like Ozempic and Wegovy, are both extremely popular and prohibitively expensive, owing in large part to pharma IP laws”.
The report further adds that “MIT’s capsule has seen some laboratory success. Giving test animals the pill 20 minutes before eating reduced their consumption by around 40%, per the team. Like the glass of water trick, the capsule stimulates mechanoreceptors, which send a signal to the brain through the vagus cranial nerve. Once activated, the brain kicks off the production of insulin, GLP-1, C-peptide and PYY hormones, decreasing hunger while ramping up the digestion process”.
MIT’s associate professor Giovanni Traverso notes “The behavioral change is profound, and that’s using the endogenous system rather than any exogenous therapeutic”. “We have the potential to overcome some of the challenges and costs associated with the delivery of biologic drugs by modulating the enteric nervous system.” It is also reported that “The capsule, which is roughly the size of a standard multi-vitamin, contains a vibrating motor, powered by a silver oxide battery. After reaching the stomach, gastric acid dissolves the outside layer and completes the circuit, kickstarting the vibration”. Beyond efficacy, the team is working to determine the system’s safety. That requires a method for ramping up production and eventual human testing. “At scale, our device could be manufactured at a pretty cost-effective price point,” says post-doc researcher, Shriya Srinivasan.