A pill a day to replace all meals

Technology and innovation have really come of age, and are now toying with the idea of consuming a single pill a day to take care of all one’s nutritional necessities.

The food we consume in the future will likely vary, and the steps to the future of food have already begun, with numerous feats being made in previous years, and in some cases, to tackle more critical world issues.

With food security a threat to those stricken by poverty around the world, a pill could solve world hunger easily. However, the solution in pill form seems to have been to stop hunger and prevent obesity initially.

In 2021, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Queen Mary University of London and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that receptor 4, or MC4 for short, was responsible for controlling how the brain perceives hunger.

It was found in the study that the receptor’s switch could be activated by setmelanotide sold under the name Imcivree, a drug approved for the treatment of severe obesity caused by certain genetic changes. Despite the evidence, the pill was only after that considered a means to alleviate hunger.

While the pill seems the logical choice to end hunger, that’s exactly what it would do – end hunger, with the issue of nutrition still needing to be addressed.

Simply put, addressing nutrition through drugs is being done on a daily basis through multivitamins. Upping the dosage of each vitamin required could supplement meals.

Despite this, supplements, at present, do not address the human caloric intake, which is crucial to sustaining the body.
At the same time, pills can present an end to feeling hungry and add some nutritional value. However, caloric intake still needs to be addressed.

So how far is the world from a pill to replace all meals?
Two professors from the agricultural and biological engineering department of the University of Florida have been researching the potential of 3D printing food.

In a nutshell, dried food powders are combined and printed to create a variety of meals of different flavours, which also contain more calories than a multitude of pills.

The same theory is paving the way for new development as entrepreneurs continue to experiment and, in some cases, come close to meal replacement through powders and supplements.

Eventually, condensing this powder into pill format is a reality.
– IOL News

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