Skin patch to shrink un­wanted fat works on mice

Iran Daily - - Health -

Imag­ine us­ing a med­i­cated skin patch to burn off ar­eas of un­wanted fat, in­clud­ing those ‘love han­dles’. Sci­en­tists are do­ing just that — in mice.

A skin patch de­signed to con­vert un­healthy white fat into en­er­gy­burn­ing brown fat was ef­fec­tive in ro­dents, ac­cord­ing to re­searchers at Columbia Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter in New York City, UPI re­ported.

They said the patch could help re­duce un­wanted fat in spe­cific ar­eas of the body, which could aid in treat­ing prob­lems re­lated to obe­sity and di­a­betes.

‘Love han­dles’ — the fatty bulges along the sides of the torso — might be one of the tar­gets.

Re­searchers for years have sought to find a vi­able way to con­vert white fat to brown fat, a process called brown­ing.

Brown­ing can oc­cur nat­u­rally when the body is ex­posed to cold tem­per­a­tures.

Study co-leader Li Qiang, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of pathol­ogy and cell bi­ol­ogy, said, “There are sev­eral clin­i­cally avail­able drugs that pro­mote brown­ing, but all must be given as pills or in­jec­tions.

“This ex­poses the whole body to the drugs, which can lead to side ef­fects such as stom­ach up­set, weight gain and bone frac­tures.

“Our skin patch ap­pears to al­le­vi­ate these com­pli­ca­tions by de­liv­er­ing most drugs di­rectly to fat tis­sue.”

Qiang hopes peo­ple un­der­stand the in­trin­sic value of the re­search, not just the po­ten­tial cos­metic ben­e­fits.

Qiang said, “Many peo­ple will no doubt be ex­cited to learn that we may be able to of­fer a non­in­va­sive al­ter­na­tive to li­po­suc­tion for re­duc­ing love han­dles.

“What’s much more im­por­tant is that our patch may pro­vide a safe and ef­fec­tive means of treat­ing obe­sity and re­lated meta­bolic dis­or­ders such as di­a­betes.”

The patch has not been tested in hu­mans. And of­ten, re­sults ob­tained in an­i­mal stud­ies are not repli­cated in stud­ies with peo­ple.

The study was pub­lished in the jour­nal ACS Nano.

UPI

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