By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — The FDA has approved a new weight loss aid not just for people who are obese, but people who are overweight as well.

It’s called “Plenity” and it’s an oral hydrogel capsule made of cellulose and citric acid.

When it enters the stomach, it releases thousands of particles that absorb water, forming small pieces of gel that increase the volume of the stomach and small intestine and make patients feel full.

The manufacturer says in clinical trials, when taken before lunch and dinner, six out of 10 adults lost at least 5% of their body weight within six months.

It’s designed not only for people who are obese but also for people who are overweight and don’t necessarily have diabetes or other weight related illnesses who have not had prescription treatment options in the past.

Plenity is intended to be used along with diet and exercise and while the company says it’s generally well tolerated it can cause GI upset in about a third of patients.

Dr. Mallika Marshall