A recent study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that a vibrating pill could potentially be used as a treatment for obesity. The pill, which contains a vibrating motor powered by a small silver oxide battery, tricks the brain into thinking the stomach is full, leading to reduced food consumption.
In the experiment, pigs were given the vibrating pill 20 minutes before being given access to food. The pigs that received the pill ate around 40 percent less compared to those that did not receive the pill. Furthermore, the pigs that received the pill had higher levels of satiety hormones in their blood.
The researchers hope to test the vibrating pill in humans soon, as they believe it could have potential as an obesity treatment. Obesity is a significant health problem, affecting over 40 percent of the US population.
The vibration of the pill activates receptors in the stomach lining that typically detect fullness after a meal. These receptors send signals to the brain, creating the illusion of fullness. The current prototype of the pill vibrates for 30 minutes before its battery runs out and is naturally passed.
Future versions of the pill could be designed to remain in the stomach semi-permanently and be turned on and off wirelessly. The reaction to the device may vary from person to person, but it could potentially be used to lower appetite or target hunger pangs.
The researchers also discovered in previous studies that electrical stimulation of the stomach lining can activate feelings of hunger, opening up possibilities for treating a lack of appetite in individuals with conditions such as cancer.
Overall, this vibrating pill could provide a less invasive and potentially cheaper alternative to conventional obesity treatments such as gastric bypass surgery or weight loss drugs. However, further research and testing in humans are needed to determine its effectiveness and safety.