MIT engineers create a vibrating capsule to treat obesity

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Imagine a tiny, smart pill that could trick your body into feeling full, cutting down on how much you eat without any surgery or significant side effects.

Scientists at MIT have created just that, a breakthrough that could revolutionize the battle against obesity.

This innovative approach utilizes a small, ingestible capsule that vibrates inside the stomach to mimic the feeling of fullness, potentially making it a powerful tool for those looking to control their appetite and lose weight.

When we eat a big meal, our stomach expands and sends signals to our brain that we’re full.

Interestingly, our stomach can send these same signals when it’s filled with liquid, which is why drinking water before a meal is a common diet tip.

The MIT team, led by Shriya Srinivasan, now an assistant bioengineering professor at Harvard University, and Giovanni Traverso, an MIT associate professor and gastroenterologist, decided to take this natural mechanism a step further.

They designed a capsule that, once swallowed, vibrates within the stomach, activating stretch receptors that then tell the brain the stomach is full.

This pill is not just any ordinary pill; it’s about the size of a multivitamin and includes a vibrating element powered by a small battery. When it reaches the stomach, the acidic environment dissolves a protective coating, kick-starting the vibration.

This clever design activates the body’s natural satiety mechanisms, reducing the animals’ food intake by about 40% in tests.

The implications of this research are vast. With obesity being a global health crisis, finding effective, accessible, and non-invasive treatments is crucial. Current methods, from diet and exercise to surgery and medication, have their limitations and challenges.

This vibrating pill offers a novel, potentially game-changing alternative. It’s minimally invasive, likely to be more affordable, and taps into the body’s natural signaling pathways to reduce food intake and slow weight gain.

Moreover, the pill passed through the digestive system without causing any harm in animal studies, an encouraging sign for its safety.

The team is looking into ways to extend its stay in the stomach, making it possible to control its activation wirelessly, tailoring its use to the individual’s needs.

As we look to the future, the possibilities opened up by this research are exciting. Not only could it provide a new way to help millions struggling with obesity, but it could also offer a cost-effective solution for people without access to more expensive treatments.

The next steps involve scaling up production for human trials, a crucial phase that will help understand the pill’s effectiveness and safety in people.

This tiny capsule could be a big step forward in treating obesity, offering hope and a new tool in the ongoing fight against this challenging health issue.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies that hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight people, and early time-restricted eating could help lose weight .

For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies that Mediterranean diet can reduce belly fat much better, and Keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.

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