Here are tidings of great post-holiday comfort and joy: Soon, you may be able to trick your body into thinking it’s already been fed with one pill.
Not only would you skip extra calories, but your body would burn calories to make space for the food it thinks it has to digest.
After two decades of research, a team of researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies created a compound, fexaramine, which activates a specific protein in the stomach that’s normally only switched on by a meal.
It sparks a chain reaction, activating functions across the body that help burn energy.
Although no food is coming, the body continues to burn fat while preparing extra space for the food.
In animal trials, the team fed mice a high-fat diet for five weeks.
Mice that took the pill showed signs of faster metabolisms, controlled blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol than those who ate normally.
On top of that, the team realized portions of “bad” white fat in the mice that were given fexaramine turned into calorie-burning brown fat.
Although other researchers tried to harness the protein (farensoid X receptor), lead researcher Ronald Evans is the first to keep it in the stomach instead of the bloodstream.
He’s hopeful its chain reaction of health benefits may bring an end to obesity and diabetes.
Thanks to the study’s largely positive results with very few side effects, Evans and his team hope fexaramine will enter human trials soon.