There is a new diet pill undergoing testing in Italy. The pill expands in your stomach, suppressing
appetite by giving you a false sense of fullness, sort of like those dehydrated
sponges that expand dramatically when you get them wet.
On the surface it sounds as if this pill might be a
reasonable approach – but there are 2 big problems:
method (filling the stomach to give a sense of fullness and reduce eating)
has been tried before and has failed to produce the desired result. Back in the 1980’s scientists attempted
to use an inflated stomach balloon (Garren Bubble) to suppress hunger. Unfortunately it didn’t work, and put
people at high risk for gastric ulcers and other dangerous side
is a serious risk of bowel obstruction with this pill. Once the tablet dissolves in stomach
acid, the cellulose condenses to produce a bezoar (rock like substance)…
the pill’s contents can then become wadded up like a rubber tennis ball
and not pass through the gut safely.
In fact, the pill could cause a fatal obstruction.
So, as we continue on our quest for the magic pill to cure
our obesity epidemic – we must reject yet another valiant effort. Sorry folks, it’s back to good old diet and
exercise for most of us.