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Are the New FDA Approved Fat Fighting Machines Safe?

The extremely aggressive marketing campaigns for two newly introduced 'fat blasting' machines feature liberal use of the FDA’s stamp of approval.

In fact, neither machine has been approved by the FDA for weight loss applications.

The Zeltiq machine is intended for use as a skin cooling device to mitigate the pain and thermal injuries often experienced during laser and other dermatological treatments. Alternative uses are as a local anesthetic, localized hot or cold thermal therapy for pain relief, as a massage device for temporary relief of minor muscle aches, pains and spasms, temporary improvement of circulation, and temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite.

The Zerona machine is for use in providing temporary relief of minor neck and shoulder pain.

The uses for which these machines are FDA approved are not new, much as advertising for them is intended to lead you to believe. As medical devices FDA-approved for other purposes, doctors are free to use them ‘off label’ for weight loss applications.

Are these machines effective? Are they safe?

According to The Wall Street Journal:

“Of course, there is still no magic wand for the 66% of us who are overweight or obese: Eliminating fat cells without also eating less or exercising more may make fat crop up elsewhere and ultimately do more harm than good.

That's because fat cells are not just passive storage depots for surplus calories. They are busy chemical factories that send signals all over the body, helping to regulate growth, puberty, healing, disease-fighting and aging. Among the 100 or more hormones that fat cells secrete are adiponectine, which helps manage metabolism, and leptin, which tells the brain to eat more or less (although the brain doesn't always listen).”

And according to Healthland.Time, “Environmental toxicants are stored in fat cells as well. If many of them disintegrate quickly in a short period of time, it's theoretically possible there could be a blood toxicity issue.”

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