Sand serves up a possible cure for obesity

Oct. 24, 2022
Engineered particles of purified sand could be the next anti-obesity therapy.

Engineered particles of purified sand could be the next anti-obesity therapy as new research from the University of South Australia shows that porous silica can prevent fats and carbohydrates from being adsorbed in the body. 

The engineered silica particles are made from purified sand and are optimally designed with a high surface area that enables them to soak up large amounts of digestive enzymes, fats, and sugars within the gastrointestinal tract. 

Funded by the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, the study validates how porous silica particles can impede digestive processes and stop fat and sugar adsorption. 

Developed in partnership with Glantreo Limited, the new silica-based therapy will be gentler on the stomach with fewer of the unpleasant side effects associated with the mainstream anti-obesity drug, Orlistat. 

The in-vitro study examined multiple silica samples under simulated conditions that mimicked the gastrointestinal environment during the digestion of a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal.  

It found that porous silica particles with pore widths between 6–10 nm are ideal for triggering an inhibitory response to both fats and sugars. 

University of South Australia release on Newswise

Photo 197316000 © Mykola Sosiukin | Dreamstime.com
Photo 34298902 © Alexander Raths | Dreamstime.com
Photo 25549650 © Sergey Gavrilichev | Dreamstime.com
Photo 37252335 © Yuliia Davydenko | Dreamstime.com