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New Seaweed Pill Works Like Gastric Banding

There’s a new weapon in the battle of the bulge. It comes in the form of an expanding pill that tricks the brain into thinking the stomach is full, the Daily Mail reported.

The pill, made with a fibrous seaweed extract, swells to several times its normal size inside the stomach. As a result, it stretches the stomach wall, stimulating receptors that send a signal to the brain to say that the stomach is full, according to the report.

The effects are similar to those of a gastric balloon, a European procedure in which an inflatable implant is surgically inserted into the stomach and then filled with saline solution. The procedure is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The big difference with this pill, called Appesat, is that it only needs to be swallowed with water.

Clinical trials suggest the pill can help gradual weight loss, averaging about 20 pounds over a three-month period, the Mail reported.

It costs around $60 for 50 pills and is now available online.

Click here to read more from the Daily Mail.