Scientists have developed a pill that engorges in the stomach making the person feel like they have eaten a good meal. The pill made from cellulose has a highly absorbent powder that expands 1000 times when taken with water.
‘The sensation is like eating a nice plate of spaghetti,’ said Prof Luigi Ambrosio, who led the research.
Professor Ambrosio said that the 500 mg pill when taken with 2 glasses of water results in a tennis ball size lump in the stomach.
‘We had one extremely important investor come to visit and he wanted to try the pill. He got very excited because he took one at 11 o’clock in the morning and at six o’clock in the afternoon he still couldn’t finish an ice cream,’ he said.
Ambrosio said that the idea of the pill struck them when they were designing nappies’ lining.
‘The idea came to us while we were working on a project to design a lining for nappies,’ he said.
‘One of my PhD students came across this particular compound, with incredibly high absorption rates. At the time, scientists were trying to battle obesity with balloons inside the stomach, so we thought this might work,’ he added.
The pill has already been tested on 20 people as of now, and another trial is being held with 90 people at the Policlinico Gemelli hospital in Rome. Professor Ambrosio hopes to market the product by next summer.
Our marketing people say we should launch it in time for summer,’ he said.