≡ Menu

A Weight Loss Pill Could Replace Gastric Balloon Surgery

Gastric balloon ilustration

Gastric balloon illustration.

Gelesis is a company in Boston that developed Attiva in 2010. Attiva is a weight loss pill that contains a hydrogel or polymer that expands a gel-like substance in the stomach. In theory, this means that there is little room left for food and should, theoretically, help people form losing weight. The gel itself is only about the size of a grain of sugar when ingested. Once the gel expands, the stomach is stretched and the nerve fibres in the stomach will tell the brain that the stomach is completely full.

Tests on Rats
The product was tested on rats, who stopped eating for around 18 hours. Some products have been tested on humans and they did report hunger feelings were decreased. It was also shown that the gel shrinks and returns to gel over time, at which point it enters the small intestine. They then swell again in the small intestines and they pick up fatty acids and digested sugars. After a while, it shrinks again, releasing the sugars and fatty acids back into the bloodstream in a slow way. The gel then makes its way to the large intestine before completely disintegrating and passing out of the body.

The Advantage of Attiva
One of the greatest advantages of Attiva is that it never enters the blood stream. This means that the side-effects most of us experience from other weight loss drugs are eliminated. Besides this, it would also be a much safe alternative to the gastric balloon procedure, which carries quite significant risks with it, being major surgery.

Does it Work?
Whether this weight loss pill works is the biggest question. Indeed, it will stop us from eating because the stomach can only hold a single hamburger, rather than the customary triple cheeseburger, a large soda and a large portion of fries. So, the number of calories consumed will be significantly reduced. It may also be a great option for people who binge eat, as they have small stomach capacities and will find themselves unable to binge. A worry is that people will only use it on days that they want to watch what they eat, refraining from taking the tablet if they are on an all inclusive holiday for instance.

Weight loss surgery has now been around for quite some time. Yet, it seems many people who go through these surgical procedures don’t attain the weight loss they crave, with some even putting the weight on after some time. It is not unheard of for people to eat even if their stomach tells them it is filled to capacity, potentially injuring the stomach or leading to vomiting. These people don’t feel hungry, which is taken away by the surgical procedure, but they still eat. It is believed that they have certain brain receptors that drive them to eat as much as they do and this doesn’t go away after surgery. The home, social, work and family situation remains the same. Hormones also cause us to overeat, as does lack of sleep. Overeating can also be caused by medications, boredom, being overworked amd PMS. The verdict, as such, is that the expanding weight loss pill will work, but only in so far as that the stomach will tell the brain it is full. The other reasons for eating will not be removed at all.

An Update
Attiva was developed in 2010 and was at that point still in its testing phase. Gelesis was then keen to theorise that the tablet would revolutionise the industry, removing the need for gastric balloon surgery. So what has happened since? Well, it seems that we are at a bit of a standstill. The product is not for sale yet and no counterfeit products with the same claims have started to flood our market. Gelesis still discusses the fact that they are developing Attiva on their website, but no new news is been provided. Nobody knows whether or not we will soon have access to Attiva.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment