New diet pill trains people to eat less

Appesat on sale on the high street this week

A new diet pill which aims to train people to want less food goes on sale on the high street this week.
 
Appesat
, which is made from extracts of seaweed, works by expanding in the stomach and stimulating hunger sensors in the stomach wall. These then send a message to the brain saying the stomach is full.
 
Appesat sits in the stomach for three or four hours, continuing to suppress appetite, before being fully digested by the body. It costs £29.95 for 50 capsules and is taken with a glass of water before a meal, is said to have no worse side-effects than an upset stomach.

One clinical trial on 139 overweight and obese people found that those taking three Appesat capsules, three times a day, lost an average of 9.4kg (20.7lb) in 12 weeks compared with 5.6kg (12.4lb) among people not taking the drug. All those in the trial were on a low-calorie and low-fat diet of 1,200 calories a day for women and 1,400 for men.

The pill will go on sale in 1,000 Boots stores in the UK from Monday and in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Holland and Barrett from May.

It comes after another diet drug, Alli, went on sale over the counter last week for people with a BMI of 28 or over. Those asking for Alli will be asked a series of questions by a pharmacist about their lifestyle and motivation for the drug. But Appesat, which is a natural-based product, will be available on supermarket shelves.

Nutritionist Mary Strugar said: ‘People gain weight and find it hard to lose because their calorie intake is higher than they need. The role of appetite is key; a detrimental cycle of food restriction that causes hunger pangs may lead directly to overeating.

‘This is why many people simply give up and break their diets early. Appesat effectively gives people a tool to help control their appetite allowing them a window of time to train their body to want less food.’

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