The slimming pill which could help you lose a stone in SIX MONTHS: Pre-meal capsule turns to gel in the stomach to make people feel full
- The Gelesis100 is made of cellulose and citric acid and dissolves in the gut
- Six out of 10 people lost five per cent of their bodyweight in six months
- The only other weight-loss pill on the NHS can cause incontinence and gas
A slimming pill that forms a gel in the stomach doubles the chance of successful dieting, research has shown.
The Gelesis100 capsule works by releasing tiny particles in the stomach which absorb 100 times their own weight in water, expanding into a gel that makes people feel full.
The capsule, swallowed half an hour before meals, saw people lose an average of one stone in six months.
Some 59 per cent of patients lost five per cent of their bodyweight – about 11lb – and 27 per cent of people lost at least 10 per cent of their weight, about 22lb.
68 per cent of men and 58 per cent of woman in the UK are considered to be obese, and doctors have few options for treating them apart from advising them to eat healthier and exercise more often – the only weight loss pill available can have unpleasant side effects
Gelesis100 is made of cellulose and citric acid. It turns to gel when it is eaten then dissolves into water in the digestive system after someone has eaten a meal
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The study of 436 people, led by Louisiana State University, found people who took a dummy ‘placebo’ capsule were only half as likely to lose as much weight.
Crucially, the pill was shown to be particularly effective for patients with pre-diabetes, who lost an average of 30lbs.
The findings, published in the Obesity journal, have been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration as part of a licensing application.
DIFFERENT WEIGHT LOSS PILL ALSO REDUCES DIABETES RISK
Another weight loss drug, lorcaserin, was recently found to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly a fifth.
Hailed as the ‘holy grail’ of weight management, the pill controls high blood sugar in obese and overweight patients.
The appetite suppressant prevented glucose levels from becoming too high and lowered the risk of complications, such as kidney damage, blindness and amputations, the research found.
It has been available on prescription as a weight-loss drug in the US since 2012 but is not in most European countries.
‘Lorcaserin is effective for weight loss,’ wrote scientists, from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
‘Now, we report that when added to lifestyle interventions, lorcaserin significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes’.
If successful, the US firm behind the pill aims to seek regulatory approval in Europe.
Study leader Professor Frank Greenway, of Louisiana State University, said: ‘This thorough and well-designed study demonstrated that Gelesis100 has a promising safety and efficacy profile, and that it has the potential to serve as an important foundational therapy for treating individuals struggling with excess weight.’
The Gelesis100 capsule contains particles made of cellulose, a fibre found in plants, and citric acid, which is found in fruit.
When the particles come into contact with water in the stomach they soak up the liquid to form a gel.
When the gel moves into the intestines it break down, the water is reabsorbed, and the particles pass through the body.
Some 68 per cent of British men and 58 per cent of women in Britain are now overweight.
Yet doctors have few tools to tackle the problem, aside from advising people to diet and exercise at one end of the spectrum, or referring them for bariatric surgery at the other.
The only weight-loss drug currently available on the NHS is orlistat – which stops fat being absorbed into the body.
But orlistat comes with unpleasant side effects such as wind and incontinence.
Scientists are also excited about the potential of another new slimming pill called lorcaserin, which combats middle-age spread, but that is not yet available in the UK.
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