London- US researchers from the universities of Columbia and North Carolina have developed medicated skin patch that can burn the body fat. These patches were first tested on over-obese mice.
The study published on the university’s electronic website explained that some drugs can turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat locally while raising the body’s overall metabolism.
There are several clinically available drugs that promote browning, but all must be given as pills or injections, however, they expose the whole body to the drugs, which can lead to side effects such as stomach upset, weight gain, and bone fractures.
To overcome this problem, the US scientists have encased capsules of these drugs in nanoparticles, which are then loaded into a centimeter-square skin patch containing dozens of microscopic needles. When applied to skin, the needles painlessly pierce the skin and gradually release the drug from nanoparticles into underlying tissue, to cope directly with the white fat.
The lab tests showed that one of these patches contained complexes that turn white fats into energy-burning brown fat locally while raising the body’s overall metabolism. New patches were applied every three days for a total of four weeks.
The treated mice had a 20 percent reduction in fat on the treated side compared to the untreated side. It was also noticed that the animals’ measure of overall metabolic activity grew by about 20 percent.
Study co-leader Li 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, and may provide a safe and effective means of treating obesity and related metabolic disorders such as diabetes.”