It almost looks like one of those ads that jump before your eyes while you are surfing the net, but it is reality.
A team of scientists from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has created and tested a new treatment to melt belly fat. The research was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The new technique involves injecting a frozen saline solution directly into the fat deposits to immediately reduce them by 50%.
Dissolving the fat: a rather simple process.
The treatment developed by the researchers is absolutely minimal. It uses a sterile compound with saline solution, glycerol and ice crystals in a variable proportion between 20% and 40%.
The "saline mud" thus obtained, with its particular viscosity, is injected directly into the fat deposits. In body fat, especially around the abdomen, the compound crystallizes and kills fat cells. The body then eliminates these dead cells over the course of the weeks following the treatment.
Melt the fat all over
The team says this process could be used to reduce fat stores in virtually any part of the body, to any depth, as long as it can be accessed with a needle or catheter. Importantly, it does not appear to have adverse effects on other tissues, such as muscles.
Saline injections to dissolve fat: research
To test the process, the researchers injected the solution into pigs and monitored the effects for eight weeks. They found that the suspension reduced fat thickness by 55% compared to a control group that received injections of the same solution without any ice particles. No skin or muscle damage detected, no side effects observed elsewhere in the animals' bodies.
VERY revised and corrected Cryolipolysis
This new process is an evolution of a similar technique previously created by some members of the same team. Cryolipolysis (or "Coolsculpting" as it is nicknamed) involved the use of a strange vacuum-like device on the part to be treated, usually the belly. This cooled the body fat and killed the fat cells, but it didn't seem to be that effective. It also took longer (up to an hour) to perform the treatment, and much longer (up to 6 months) to dispose of the fat.
That's not all: the reduction in body fat was also lower, on average by about 20%, and could not reach deeper fat stores. Other methods such as the Lipocontrol they are infinitely more invasive.
Researchers in the new study say the new injectable method is faster and more effective.
"The charm of this technique is that melting fat becomes easy and convenient to do", he claims Lilit Garibyan, lead author of the study. "With this new technique the doctor can give a simple injection which takes less than a minute, the patient can go home and then the fat gradually disappears."
And now, a little disclaimer, because nothing is ever taken for granted. Of course, the new method has so far only been tested in pigs, so there is no guarantee that it will work in humans. Also, if it works, the fat-breaking effect could only be cosmetic: CoolSculpting, for example, did not improve liver function. Bottom line: This treatment can melt fat in less than a minute, but it won't suddenly make you healthier. That is (also) question of chemistry.