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Effective Weight Loss Pill on the Horizon? Study Sees Promising Results

Updated: Tuesday, April 15 2014, 06:54 PM EDT

A new study has some surprising information about a surgery that helps patients lose weight.

The procedure, called vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is one of the most common weight loss surgeries today. It removes about 80% of the stomach and turns the "bag" shape of the stomach into a "tube."

Obesity researcher Dr. Randy Seeley has just released details of a new study about the procedure. Originally doctors thought the surgery worked since the patients could not eat as much due to the change in shape. However, the study has found that it wasn't about the size of the stomach that made the difference, but about the way the stomach communicates with the brain.

As part of the study Doctor Seeley's team conducted laboratory studies and found that the surgery alters bile acids and bacteria in the gut. The change influences receptors that signal the brain. The doctor says the same might be achieved without the surgery someday - perhaps even in pill form.

The study is published in the online journal Nature.

Effective Weight Loss Pill on the Horizon? Study Sees Promising Results

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