Love han­dles patch could melt fat away from hips, say sci­en­tists

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

♦ A patch that prom­ises to burn off pock­ets of stub­born fat such as “love han­dles” is be­ing de­vel­oped by sci­en­tists.

Suc­cess­ful ini­tial tri­als in the US in­di­cated that it could re­duce lo­calised fat by 20 per cent.

The patch de­liv­ers me­tab­o­lism-al­ter­ing drugs in nanopar­ti­cles which en­ter the body via dozens of mi­cro­scopic nee­dles.

Hu­mans have two types of fat: white fat which stores ex­cess en­ergy in large triglyc­eride droplets, and brown fat, which has smaller droplets and a high num­ber of mi­to­chon­dria that burn fat to pro­duce heat.

For years, re­searchers have been search­ing for ways to trans­form an adult’s white fat into brown. There are sev­eral drugs that pro­mote brown­ing, but all must be given as pills or in­jec­tions, ex­pos­ing the whole body to the drugs, which can lead to side­ef­fects such as stom­ach upset, weight gain, and bone frac­tures.

The skin patch cir­cum­vents these com­pli­ca­tions by de­liv­er­ing the drugs di­rectly to the re­gion needed, such as the ar­eas of flesh above the hips.

Re­searchers at Columbia Uni­ver­sity Medical Cen­ter in New York tested the de­vice on mice and found that they lost 20 per cent of fat on the treated side com­pared with the un­treated side. The re­search is pub­lished in the jour­nal ACS Nano.

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