Wouldn’t weight loss be a lot easier if there was a magic pill you could take to lose inches on your waistline? Unfortunately, despite the pseudoscience, most weight loss pills on the market are complete nonsense. But scientists say they are getting closer to a real diet pill. In a recent Salk Institute study, researchers created a weight loss pill that, thus far, has worked on mice by tricking the animal’s digestive system into thinking it has eaten a meal. The pill stimulates what scientists are calling an “imaginary meal,” which prevents both short and long-term overeating.
The primary ingredient used in the study’s pill is a chemical called fexaramine, a farnesoid X receptor which triggers multiple bodily reactions, including the digestive process. When ingested orally, it prompts the body to start burning fat, even if no meal has actually been eaten. The mice in the study all lost weight through this process.
“The body’s response to a meal is like a relay race, and if you tell all the runners to go at the same time, you’ll never pass the baton,” said lead researcher Ronald Evans, in a statement. “We’ve learned how to trigger the first runner so that the rest of the events happen in a natural order.”