A new pill, called fexaramine developed by the researchers
of Salk Institute for Biological Studies tricks the body into thinking it has
consumed calories, causing it to burn fat. Fexaramine found to be effective in
weight reduction, lowering cholesterol, controlled blood sugar and minimized
inflammation in mice. Unlike most diet pills on the market, this new pill,
doesn’t dissolve into the blood like appetite suppressants or caffeine-based
diet drugs, but remains in the intestines, causing fewer side effects.
"This pill is like an imaginary meal," says Ronald Evans, Director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory. "It sends out the same signals that normally happen when you eat a lot of food, so the body starts clearing out space to store it. But there are no calories and no change in appetite."
Evans' laboratory has spent nearly two decades studying the farensoid X receptor (FXR), a protein that plays a role in how the body releases bile acids from the liver, digests food and stores fats and sugars. The human body turns on FXR at the beginning of a meal, to prepare for an influx of food. FXR not only triggers the release of bile acids for digestion, but also changes blood sugar levels and causes the body to burn some fats in preparation for the incoming meal.
Fexaramine is only absorbed in the gut and does not go into the bloodstream, so it does not cause side effects common for typical diet pills. After additional testing, researchers believe this will lead to an effective weight loss diabetes treatment for humans.