Carbon dioxide reduces belly fat

June 8, 2018, Northwestern University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The first randomized, controlled trial testing carbon dioxide gas injections (carboxytherapy) to reduce belly fat found the new technique eliminates fat around the stomach. However, the changes were modest and did not result in long-term fat reduction, according to the Northwestern Medicine study.

"Carboxytherapy could potentially be a new and effective means of fat reduction," said lead author Dr. Murad Alam, vice chair of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician. "It still needs to be optimized, though, so it's long lasting."

The paper was published this week in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The 's benefits are that it is a "safe, inexpensive gas, and injecting it into fat pockets may be preferred by patients who like natural treatments," Alam said. "Non-invasive fat reduction has become increasingly sought-after by patients."

Benefits of a non-invasive approach are diminished downtime, avoidance of scarring and perceived safety.

Current technologies routinely used for non-invasive fat reduction include cryolipolysis, high intensity ultrasound, radiofrequency, chemical adipocytolysis and laser-assisted fat reduction.

Carboxytherapy has been performed primarily outside the U.S., with a few clinical studies suggesting it may provide a lasting improvement in abdominal contours. The way carboxytherapy works is not well understood. It is believed that injection of carbon dioxide causes changes in the microcirculation, and damages fat cells.

No for carboxytherapy efficacy and benefit over time have been previously conducted. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of carboxytherapy for fat reduction in a randomized, controlled trial, and to determine if any observed benefits persisted for six months.

The Northwestern study consisted of 16 adults who were not overweight (body mass of 22 to 29) and were randomized to get weekly injection to one side of their abdomens and a sham treatment on the other side once a week for five weeks. A high-resolution ultrasound detected a reduction in superficial fat after five weeks but not at 28 weeks. The patients' body weight did not change over the course of the study.

That the difference was not maintained at six months suggests the treatment stimulated a temporary metabolic process that reduced the size of fat cells without inducing cell death, Alam said.

"If carboxytherapy can provide prolonged benefits, it offers patients yet another noninvasive option for fat reduction," Alam said. "But we don't feel it's ready for prime time."

Explore further: Carboxytherapy, platelet-rich plasma similar for stretch marks

Related Stories

Carboxytherapy, platelet-rich plasma similar for stretch marks

January 22, 2018
(HealthDay)—Both carboxytherapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) are safe and effective for the treatment of stretch marks, with no significant difference between the two methods, according to a study published online Jan. ...

Cryolipolysis with colder temp, shorter time safe, effective

September 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—Cryolipolysis with colder temperature and reduced treatment time is safe and effective for noninvasive reduction of submental fat, according to a study published online Sept. 12 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Low-dose hyaluronidase can remove hyaluronic acid fillers

April 27, 2018
(HealthDay)—Very low doses of hyaluronidase can remove hyaluronic acid filler nodules, but more rapid resolution is seen with slightly higher doses, according to a study published online April 25 in JAMA Dermatology.

Certolizumab looks promising for moderate-to-severe psoriasis

May 25, 2018
(HealthDay)—Twice-weekly certolizumab biologic appears to be both safe and effective for the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis, according to a study published online April 13 in the Journal of the ...

Few adverse events found in noninvasive, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures

November 5, 2014
Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, including fillers, neurotoxins and laser and energy device procedures are exceedingly safe and have essentially no risk of serious adverse events, reports a new Northwestern Medicine ...

Killing fat cells: Death by freezing or liposuction?

January 10, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Is it more effective to freeze your love handles, killing the fat cells between two super-cooled plates in a procedure known as cryolipolysis, or vacuum them away with liposuction? And which ...

Recommended for you

Dialysis patients at risk of progressive brain injury

December 10, 2018
Kidney dialysis can cause short-term 'cerebral stunning' and may be associated with progressive brain injury in those who receive the treatment for many years. For many patients with kidney failure awaiting a kidney transplant ...

PET scans to optimize tuberculosis meningitis treatments and personalize care, study finds

December 6, 2018
Although relatively rare in the United States, and accounting for fewer than 5 percent of tuberculosis cases worldwide, TB of the brain—or tuberculosis meningitis (TBM)—is often deadly, always hard to treat, and a particular ...

Silicosis is on the rise, but is there a therapeutic target?

December 6, 2018
Researchers from the CNRS, the University of Orléans, and the company Artimmune, in collaboration with Turkish clinicians from Atatürk University, have identified a key mechanism of lung inflammation induced by silica exposure, ...

Infectivity of different HIV-1 strains may depend on which cell receptors they target

December 6, 2018
Distinct HIV-1 strains may differ in the nature of the CCR5 molecules to which they bind, affecting which cells they can infect and their ability to enter cells, according to a study published December 6 in the open-access ...

Protecting cell powerhouse paves way to better treatment of acute kidney injury

December 6, 2018
For the first time, scientists have described the body's natural mechanism for temporarily protecting the powerhouses of kidney cells when injury or disease means they aren't getting enough blood or oxygen.

New study uncovers why Rift Valley fever is catastrophic to developing fetuses

December 5, 2018
Like Zika, infection with Rift Valley fever virus can go unnoticed during pregnancy, all the while doing irreparable—often lethal—harm to the fetus. The results of a new study, led by researchers at the University of ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

LaPortaMA
not rated yet Jun 08, 2018
The new technique's benefits are that it is a "safe, inexpensive gas, and injecting it into fat pockets may be preferred by patients who like natural treatments,

A DISGRACE at my alma mater. I'm appalled.
AT WHAT RISK?

Let's see if this method still exists in 5 years.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.