The simple skin patch that melts fat from body
RESEARCHERS in the US have developed a skin patch that can melt fat in mice, giving hope that future tests will show it can be used to treat obesity and diabetes in people.
The patch uses nanotechnology to raise the body’s metabolism and transform energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat, according to a report in a publication of the American Chemical Society. After four weeks, mice saw a 20 per cent reduction in body fat where the patch was applied.
“Many people will no doubt be excited to learn that we may be able to offer a non-invasive alternative to liposuction for reducing love handles,” study co-author Li Qiang, assistant professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University’s medical centre in New York, said.
Researchers have been searching for a way to transform white fat into brown fat, which is more common in newborns and protects the body from cold temperatures.
Drugs are available to promote this process but they must be given as pills or injections, which exposes the body to side-effects such as stomach upset, weight gain and bone fractures, Qiang said.