- MIT develops a vibrating pill that reduces food intake by 40% in animal studies, potentially offering a new approach to treating obesity.
- The pill works by stimulating stretch receptors, tricking the brain into feeling full, and may minimize side effects of current weight loss drugs.
- Human clinical trials are planned for 2024, positioning the vibrating pill as a possible cost-effective and accessible obesity treatment alternative.
December 31, 2023: In a remarkable advancement in obesity treatment, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a vibrating pill that has shown promising results in reducing food intake.
This innovative capsule is designed to be swallowed before eating, triggering the body’s “stretch receptors” to send fullness signals to the brain.
The technology behind this pill could potentially provide an alternative to current obesity treatments like Ozempic and Wegovy.
Dr. Marc Siegel, highlighted the significance of this pill, noting its potential as a smart pill regulated by AI. The pill vibrates in the stomach, activating receptors that stimulate the vagus nerve.
This stimulation mimics the feeling of fullness, even when the stomach isn’t actually full. In animal studies, this led to a remarkable 40% reduction in food intake compared to control groups.
Lead author Shriya Srinivasan, PhD, emphasized the potential benefits of this pill in reducing the side effects associated with current pharmacological treatments for obesity.
The capsule, which is the size of a multivitamin, contains a small oxide battery. Once swallowed, stomach acids dissolve its casing, activating the vibrating motor.
Senior author Giovanni Traverso noted the potential of this technology in overcoming challenges and costs related to current obesity treatments.
Approximately 30.7% of U.S. adults are overweight, and 42.4% are obese, with obesity increasing the risk of various health issues like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. This pill could provide a cost-effective and accessible solution, especially in global health settings.
Siegel compared the pill’s mechanism to that of semaglutides like Wegovy and Ozempic, which also slow stomach emptying.
However, the vibrating pill could be a more suitable alternative for those who cannot tolerate the side effects of these medications.
Plans are in place to test the capsules in human clinical trials in 2024, opening new doors in the realm of obesity treatment and smart pill technology.