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Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

Dr Madusha Peiris featured in Channel 4 programme on how to beat fat

Channel 4 has featured Dr Madusha Peiris from the Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology (part of the Blizard Institute) in their latest episode of "How to beat... Fat" where she helped 10 volunteers develop new weight loss techniques.

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Dr Peiris has devised a colon-targeted nutraceutical approach – a 'fat pill' – to promote weight loss by reducing calorie intake in obese people thereby preventing associated health complications.

The capusles contain a cocktail of nutrients designed to tame the appetite. The nutrients all come from natural ingredients found in common foods (broccoli, coconut oil and perilla oil).

Dr Peiris says those nutirents were chosen because they contain medium-chain fatty acids, which are thought to trigger the colon into producing the powerful PYY hormone, which makes people feel full.

This safe approach has been shown to stimulate a feeling of satiety and reduce food intake at meal times in a Phase I study of 20 volunteers with BMI of 30-40.

Queen Mary has patented IP on the unique combination of nutrients that Dr Peiris and her team have invented. Because the pills contain natural ingreditents, they should reach shop shelves much quicker than a synthetic drug would, without having to go through 20 years of efficacy, safety and toxicology.

This opportunity offers the potential to safely address the global obesity problem, which costs the NHS an estimated £6BN a year in the UK alone. Obesity is associated with increased risk of developing type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, breast cancer, bowel cancer and stroke. 

The episode can be watched on the Channel 4 website until Friday 30 October 2020.