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Micro-needle plaster as a new diet option
More and more people are overweight. Belly fat in particular damages health, as numerous studies have already shown. A team of researchers has now succeeded in developing an effective method to reduce excess pounds on the abdomen. A micro-needle patch is said to be able to convert unhealthy fat into energy-consuming.
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed a patch that can break down fat in the abdomen. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Great success in experiments on mice
The Singapore doctors have now developed a new method for reducing body fat in the abdominal region. With the help of a plaster with microneedles, unhealthy fat is to be converted into fat, which then burns energy. This patch has already been used on mice. The mice were fed a high-fat diet, but the plastering reduced the fat mass of the animals by 30 percent in just four weeks.
How is the patch made?
The patch used has hundreds of so-called microneedles, each of which is thinner than a human hair. The active substances contained in the patch are a so-called beta-3-adrenergic receptor agonist and a medication called T3-triiodothyronine. The researchers explained that it was sufficient to press the patch on the skin for only about two minutes, then the microneedles would already penetrate the skin and detach from the patch.
The patch can then be removed. The needles slowly break down over time and the medication diffuses into the white subcutaneous tissue. There the drug converts the energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat.
Patches could reduce the problem of obesity worldwide
Babies have a high level of brown fat. It helps the baby keep warm by burning energy. As people get older, the amount of brown fats decreases and these are replaced by visceral white fats. The researchers believe that the new patch and drug could help reduce the obesity problem worldwide without the need for surgery or drugs that require large doses and can have serious side effects.
Drug has lower costs and reduced side effects
"With the microneedles embedded in the skin of the mice, the surrounding fats started to tan in five days, which increased the mice's energy consumption and then led to a reduction in body fat," Professor Xu Chenjie said in the press release. The amount of medication we use in the patch is much less than with oral medication or an injected dose. This can reduce the cost of active pharmaceutical ingredients and at the same time minimize side effects due to the slow release design, the expert adds.
Fat in the body can lead to dangerous diseases
Obesity, which is associated with excessive fat formation, is a major risk factor for various diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Patches should be affordable and easy to use
"We wanted to develop a pain-free patch that everyone can easily use," says Professor Chen. It should also be affordable too. The solution aims to use a person's body fat percentage to burn more energy. This is a natural process in babies.
What drugs are included?
The mice treated with the patches also had significantly lower blood cholesterol and fatty acid levels compared to the untreated mice, the study authors explain. In addition, the patch is inexpensive to produce. The beta-3-adrenergic receptor agonists are included in combination with hyaluronic acid. This substance occurs naturally in the human body and is often used in products for the skin, such as moisturizers. The beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist is a medication used for overactive blisters. T3 triiodothyronine is a thyroid hormone that is often used to treat an underactive thyroid.
However, it will still take some time before it is ready for the market. Experts expect that the patch will only be available a few years after approval. (as)