A new type of skin patch that burns body fat has shown potential in trials, according to researchers. The skin patch can supposedly convert energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat. This breakthrough can eventually lead to a possible treatment for obesity. The study was published in the journal, Small Methods.
Scientists from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore used the new micro-needle patch on mice which were on a high-fat diet to reduce their mass. They were able to reduce the weight of the mice by more than 30 percent in a month. The mice were also reported to have lower blood cholesterol levels and fatty acids compared to the rodents who didn’t receive the patch.
“What we aim to develop is a painless patch that everyone could use easily, is unobtrusive and yet affordable.” Said Chen Peng, professor at the Nanyang Technological University.
Researchers state that brown fats are found in babies and they help to keep them warm by burning energy. According to Peng, the skin patch will use the same natural process that occurs on babies on adults.
The skin patch contains hundreds of micro-needles, as thin as a human hair, which are loaded with a drug called Beta-3 or with T3 triiodothyronine, a thyroid hormone. Once the patch is pressed into the skin, the molecules detach. Once in the body, the molecules slowly diffuse to the energy-storing white fat underneath the skin layer, converting them into energy-burning fats.
This potential treatment for obesity may offer an alternative to surgical operations or oral medications.
According to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 1.9 billion adults who suffer from being overweight out of which 650 million are obese. Obesity is the result of massive accumulation of body fat and is one of the prime risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease as well as type-2 diabetes.
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