A Weight-Loss Pill That Inflates in Your Stomach?
We’ve heard of diet pills that contain ingredients to make us less hungry, but what about a pill that inflates in your tummy to make you feel full faster? That’s exactly what the Obalon Gastric Balloon system does.
The product (which is under FDA investigational use in the U.S.) involves swallowing between one and three pills that are connected to a tube. When the pill arrives in your stomach, a doctor inflates the pill like a balloon. As a result, your stomach expands, ideally transmitting messages to your brain that you are full and leaving less room for food.
While we know plenty of dudes are accused of thinking with another body part (ahem, John Mayer, Justin Bieber, and Leonardo DiCaprio), scientists actually call the stomach a “second brain.” It’s lined with neurons or nerve cells that sense when to digest and when you are hungry. The stomach’s nerve sensors are known as the enteric nervous system and are one of the reasons why a system like Obalon may help the right patient (you must have a BMI of at least 27) lose weight.
While the premise may sound weird, keep in mind that hundreds of thousands of Americans undergo bariatric surgery each year. These surgeries alter the shape of the stomach, helping people feel full while eating less food. The Obalon System is designed to last for 12 weeks without requiring people to undergo drastic surgical procedures, yet experience weight loss. After 12 weeks, a doctor deflates the balloon, and pulls the system back the way it came.
While you can’t get these fancy stomach balloons in the U.S., countries like Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Italy have all approved the balloon for use — providing you can shell out at least 2,000 euros or more.
Check out the Obalon Balloon video below. What do you think of these inflatable pills? Let us know in the comments!
xx, The FabFitFun Team
P.S. Fight hunger with these smart snacks.