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Thursday, June 5, 2008

A diet pill that makes you feel full

It sounds like the answer to a dieter's prayers - a once-a-day pill that can help a woman drop two dress sizes in six months. Scientists say they are astonished by the success of trials on tesofensine, a drug that could be on the market in three years. By targeting part of the brain, which controls appetite, it makes the user feel full soon after starting a meal and cuts the urge to snack. Scientists say that one pill a day for six months could see an average weight loss of a stone and a half.

Taken for six months, it is said to help achieve an average weight loss of a stone and a half. Such a change in weight could have a dramatic effect on quality of life, as well slashing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Tesofensine pills could also cut the need for gastric banding, stomach stapling and other expensive and potentially dangerous operations carried out thousands of times a year in the UK as waistlines expand.

There are, however, likely to be concerns about the drug being used as a 'quick fix' to a problem which can in many cases be tackled with diet and exercise. And there are side- effects, including mild nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, insomnia, mood changes, and, perhaps most importantly, increased heart rate. Future trials will determine whether the side effects outweigh the benefits.

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