New Pill Could Replace Gastric Bypass Surgery

A team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has developed a pill that could yield the same benefits of gastric bypass surgery and reverse type 2 diabetes.

Bypass Pill / Image: Randal McKenzie
Bypass Pill / Image: Randal McKenzie

Type 2 diabetes is a curable disease, and the solution is gastric bypass surgery. A study of 20,000 patients who had undergone the procedure showed that 84% of them were completely cured of their type 2 diabetes. However, there are a range of side effects associated with reducing the size of a patients’ stomach including hernias, infection, blood clots, ulcers, or even death.

A recent Futurism article discussed a new development that cold yield the same benefits of gastric bypass surgery without the surgery part. A team of researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital believes that weight loss isn’t necessarily the key to curing type 2 diabetes. They’ve developed a compound they call LuCl (Luminal Coating of the Intestine) using an FDA-approved drug called sucralfate as a base. The compound temporarily coats the lining of the intestine and makes it unable to absorb nutrients.

LuCl seems to work; it lowered post-meal response to glucose in rats by 47%. The next step is to test LuCl on diabetic and obese rats.

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