The Latest Scientific Way to Control Appetites Involves a Vibrating Pill

It's still in the early stages of testing

Not every pill vibrates, but this one? This one does.
Getty Images

As scientists learn more about the way that the body processes food, they’re making significant advances in figuring out ways to control the human appetite — something that has plenty of ramifications for fitness and weight loss, under the right conditions. In some cases, eating more fiber can have a positive effect on your appetite; in others, a drug like Ozempic might be the most beneficial course of action.

And then there’s another approach that’s shown promising signs when tested in pigs. This doesn’t involve food with extensive nutritional benefits or a kind of medicine that can rewire your brain; instead, it’s the rare treatment that’s both high-tech and low-tech.

Or, to phrase it slightly differently: what if there was a way to convince your stomach that it was more full than it actually was without the use of any kind of chemical additive? Writing at Live Science, Kiley Price has details on a pill that could help people lose weight simply by vibrating.

The article cites Harvard University’s Shriya Srinivasan, who suggested a use for the pill in a statement. “For somebody who wants to lose weight or control their appetite, it could be taken before each meal,” Srinivasan said. The scientists who conducted the study on a group of pigs found that using the pill reduced the amount of food that the pigs consumed.

The scientists described their work on the device, which they’ve dubbed the VIBES pill — short for Vibrating Ingestible BioElectronic Stimulator — in a paper published in the journal Science Advances. The authors suggest that additional testing could compare the VIBES pill to “other FDA-approved drugs for weight control or emerging approaches like electrical stimulation” — and proposes that it could also “be leveraged to treat diseases of insulin insufficiency or dysregulation such as in type II diabetes.” The pill itself has a minute vibration, but it could have a big impact.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!