This site is intended for health professionals only

Weight-loss pill can "fill" stomach

A diet pill claiming to "train" people to want to eat less has gone on sale.

Made from seaweed extracts, Appesat expands the stomach and stimulates hunger sensors, sending a message to the brain that the stomach is full.

It is designed to suppress appetite for up to four hours before it is fully digested.

Combined with a lower calorie intake, it aims to train people to want less food over a long period of time.

One clinical trial found that overweight and obese people 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.

The makers, Goldshield, say that Appesat works in a different way to other appetite suppressants on the market by staying in the stomach for longer. This helps people feel "full up".

Nutritionist Mary Strugar said: "People gain weight and find it hard to lose because their calorie intake is higher than they need.

"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."

Copyright © Press Association 2009