A new weight loss pill has yielded promising results, and the unusual pill could be a powerful weapon in the fight against obesity. Research was conducted, and in a period of four months, 34 patients lost an average of 37 percent of their excess weight (about 22 pounds each), CBS News reports. The so-called “balloon in a pill” helps people lose weight just by swallowing it.
A gastric balloon that is swallowed in pill form has already been launched throughout the U.K., but it has yet to be tested in American patients for FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval. Unlike other weight loss treatments, the gastric balloon pill does not require invasive surgery. It only requires a 10-minute procedure, during which patients swallow a capsule the size of a large vitamin pill containing a deflated balloon.
Weight-loss gastric balloon pill launched across UK http://t.co/VwMk7Ub077— The Guardian (@guardian) January 21, 2014
According to Latinos Health, once the capsule is swallowed and enters the stomach, the shell dissolves, exposing the balloon. Distilled water is then pumped into the balloon via the catheter. The balloon sits on top of the stomach and is filled to approximately the size of a grapefruit, giving patients a feeling of fullness, which is expected to help them eat less and lose weight.
Dr. Ram Chuttani is the study author and also the director of interventional gastroenterology and endoscopy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and he shared more details about the pill with media outlets.
“Because patients get used to feeling full so much quicker with the device, they learn portion control and get used to eating less,” Chuttani said. “We anticipate that the improved eating habits patients develop will mean that a significant amount of the weight will stay off, even when the balloon is no longer in place.”
After four months, the balloon is emptied and passed from the body in stool, the Los Angeles Times reports. The pill was developed by a company called Allurion Technologies, which specializes in breakthrough weight loss technology, and it won’t be available in the U.S. for at least another two years.
Before declaring that this new pill is the holy grail of weight loss, researchers say it should be considered an aid to weight loss, not a cure. However, researchers say that with this pill you can still enjoy most of the carbohydrates you want and still lose weight fast. There are many ways and treatments for weight loss, but this new pill (called Elipse) is not for everyone and is intended for patients with a BMI as low as 27. As reported by WebMD News, a BMI of 27 is overweight but not obese. BMI (Body Mass Index) is an assessment of body fat based on height and weight and is usually defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height.
“New treatment options are being studied and approved for the treatment of obesity, which is good news for our patients and the healthcare professionals involved in their treatment,” said Ninh T. Nguyen, MD, a professor in surgery at the University of California, Irvine, who did not participate in the study. “For many struggling with their weight, procedure-less gastric balloon devices may serve as a treatment option that bridges the gap between weight-loss drugs and surgery.”
This new weight loss pill has been described as one of the greatest advances in the treatment of those who are overweight. But, as said in a previous report from the Inquisitr, the balloon pill is pretty expensive and is expected to cost around $7,500 to $10,000.
[Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News]