A food capsule can help fight obesity, latest research from Britain shows.
The food supplements that work by tricking the brain and by giving the body a feeling of fullness can provide the same effect as a weight loss surgery and is expected to be available in Britain in the next five years.
Prof. Ashley Blackshaw and researchers from Barts Health, the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Queen Mary University of London conducted experiments on human tissues and found that specially designed food capsules can be used to stimulate the lower bowel and to create an environment in the digestive system that is similar to the weight loss surgery, gastric bypass.
It's the small intestine that controls appetite by signalling the brain that the stomach is full. However, in obese people these signals are often ignored. Weight–loss surgeries help them to lose weight by making changes to the digestive system.
"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 where it causes the release of hormones, which suppress the appetite and help with the release of insulin. That makes the patient feel full and stops even the hungriest individual from eating," Blackshaw, Professor of Enteric Neuroscience, said in a statement, appeared on the Bowel & Cancer Research's website. "We believe it's possible to trick the digestive system into behaving as if a bypass has taken place."
He added that a capsule with naturally occurring food supplements can act as a "strong stimuli" and target the same area of the lower bowel.
"It's a bit like sending a special food parcel straight to the body's emergency exit, and when it gets there, all the alarms go off," he added.
The capsule will facilitate weight loss and fight diabetes by interfering directly with fatty acid, amino acid and protein sensing pathways in the intestine and making changes in the endocrine responses.
The findings of the study reported in the international journal of gastroenterology and hepatology Gut come when nearly 2.1 billion people in the world, i.e. about 30 percent of the total population, are obese or overweight.
The study results are quite promising as bariatric surgery, the popular treatment for obesity, can often cause many side-effects and health problems, including ulcer, hernia, gallstones, stomach perforation, low blood sugar, dumping syndrome and bowel obstruction. In rare cases, it can also claim lives. Apart from these, the surgery can cost between ₹2-4 lakh in India.