BOSTON (CBS) – Many patients turn to weight loss surgery to help reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes, but surgery is invasive and can cause side effects. So surgeons and researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a non-invasive treatment that could one day treat type 2 diabetes without surgery.

They engineered a substance, called LuCI, which when taken by mouth temporarily coats the lining of the intestine to alter the way nutrients are absorbed and prevent spikes in blood sugar after eating.

One hour after the substance was fed to rats, their body’s response to glucose was lowered by almost half. The effect was temporary and disappeared three hours later.

Researchers are now testing the substance on rodents with diabetes and obesity and hope that one day it can be packaged in a pill and administered to humans.

Dr. Mallika Marshall