Swallowable gadget in the works to fight obesity

  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015

LESS INVASIVE THAN LAP BAND SURGERY: An electronic appetite suppressant could help you lose weight.

An electronic pill that enables you to enjoy your meal without giving you the urge to overeat is in the works at an Israeli start-up and making headlines in the medical community. 

Using an external magnet, the capsule is positioned in the place in which it will be most effective in the stomach. 

A wireless remote control that's compatible with iOS and Android devices delivers electronic stimulation to the digestive tract to quell the appetite. 

It works for about three weeks before it disintegrates and the body expels it, at which point the patient swallows another. 

The startup, called MelCap, was granted a patent from the US Patent Office for its technology in June of 2014. 


Founders say it will be a cost-effective, non-invasive solution that's easy to use and could improve the quality of life for millions of overweight and obese individuals. 

The race is on to create an effective pharmaceutical solution to the obesity epidemic. 

In January, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in the US announced the discovery of a pill that tricks the body into feeling full, inducing the energy-burning process. 

"This pill is like an imaginary meal," says Ronald Evans, director of Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory and senior author of the new paper, published January 5, 2014 in Nature Medicine. 

It's made from a compound called fexaramine that, once it dissolves in the digestive track, doesn't cause the same uncomfortable side-effects that other appetite suppressants are known for such as dizziness and nausea. 

"It sends out the same signals that normally happen when you eat a lot of food, so the body starts clearing out space to store it. But there are no calories and no change in appetite." – AFP Relaxnews

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