In an outrageous display of how far people will go to find a ‘quick fix’ for weight loss to avoid good old fashioned diet and exercise, researchers from the University of Melbourne and King’s College London have performed a study which they claim shows promise in the development of a “fat cream” to topically melt away fat underneath the skin.
If a cream does end up appearing on the market as a result of this research, it will likely have very limited (if any) effects, and is certainly not the solution for healthy weight loss.
The study, led by Professor Fiona Watt and Professor Rodney Sinclair, was performed on mice, and found that a protein which activates hair follicle growth is able to inhibit fat production in a specific tissue layer under the skin. Interfering with the natural cycle of hair growth led to variance in the thickness of the skin’s fat layers.
Professor Sinclair states, “the specific chemicals identified in this study could be produced synthetically and used in creams for topical application to the skin to modulate growth of fat beneath the skin… A cream could trim fat specifically where it was applied by ‘pausing’ the production of factors that contribute to fat cell growth.”
The researchers speculate that the cream could be used to combat obesity, reduce scar tissue and also treat male and female baldness.
Even if the cream did reduce fat, however, it would be limited to certain deposits just underneath the skin. This would do nothing for the more dangerous fat that surrounds organs deep in the body, including belly fat. Also, without diet and exercise, this fat would more than likely come back, as nothing will have been done to correct the underlying problem of why the excess pounds piled on in the first place.
Additionally, this cream would admittedly be entirely synthetic, which carries with it a host of unknowns, and potential dangers. Even if the chemicals used in the cream were tested individually, it is difficult to determine how they would interact once applied to individuals, until reports of side effects came pouring in. For example, modern depilatory creams, used to dissolve hair follicles, carry with them the risk of allergic reaction, irritation and chemical burns.
Instead of waiting for the next wonder-cream, drug or supplement, we would be wise to realize that losing weight is not an instant process, and instead requires a change in lifestyle, including switching to whole, natural foods, limiting carbohydrates and getting plenty of exercise and restful sleep.
It is not the easy road, but it is the healthy, effective road, with long-term positive results at the finish line.
-The Alternative Daily