This video is based on an article discussing a pill which mimics the effects of a gastric bypass. The article is from the July 2018 issue of Scientific European magazine. View the article for more details on the topic. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are among the most common illnesses in the world. Gastric bypass surgery is used to treat diseases caused by excess weight by normalising the patient’s weight. It is an irreversible surgery which splits the stomach into 2 pouches, of which the smaller pouch is connected directly to the small intestine. The smaller pouches store less food so when the patient eats even a small amount of food, their stomach is full which sends signals to the brain to stop eating. This means that the person loses a lot of weight as their food consumption drops significantly, and the weight loss resolves issues such as high blood pressure. The reduced portion sizes eaten due to gastric bypass surgery mean type 2 diabetes can also be reversed as less insulin is produced as a response to absorbed sugar, so insulin sensitivity increases and the pancreas recovers. However, the surgery is risky and few people are approved to get the surgery. Researchers attempted to find a less invasive treatment to replace gastric bypass surgery and a pill which would mimic the surgery’s effects was trialled on rats. The pill contained a substance called LuCl (named after luminal coating of the intestine) which was developed from an already approved chemical called sucralfate, which is used to treat gastrointestinal ulcers. LuCl coats the rat’s small intestine causing less nutrients from food to be absorbed so blood sugar is controlled if a patient consumes the pill before a meal and the patient’s bodyweight will lower. The substance sticks onto the small intestine temporarily and dissolves around 3 hours after creating a absorption-barrier coating in the intestine, but while the coating is in place, it can lower blood sugar by almost 50%. Current tests suggest that LuCl is safe to allow nutrients to bypass their gastrointestinal absorption points, but further trials confirming its safety will make the substance widely available to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. If you learnt something new, like the video and subscribe to see more scientific content; tell us your feedback in the comments section.