Carboxytherapy, a new technique that involves injecting carbon dioxide gas into the subcutaneous tissue below the skin, has been found to reduce belly fat.

Carboxytherapy And Weight Loss

In a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers conducted the first randomized controlled testing of carboxytherapy and found it effective at eliminating fat around the stomach.

Study researcher Murad Alam, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and colleagues involved 16 adults who were injected with carbon dioxide gas on one side of their abdomen and placebo on the other side once weekly for five weeks.

Using high-resolution ultrasound, the researchers detected reduction of superficial fat after five weeks. The findings, however, show that the new technique still needs to be optimized. Results of the test showed that the effects of carboxytherapy were modest and did not lead to long-term fat reduction.

Fat reduction were no longer observed at 28 weeks, and body weight of the participants did not change.

How Carboxytherapy Works

How injecting carbon dioxide into the body works to reduce belly fat is not well understood, but it is believed that it causes changes in microcirculation and damages fat cells.

Carboxytherapy is performed primarily outside of the United States, and the new study is the first trial conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the technique for fat reduction and whether or not the benefits persist for a period of six months.

Since abdominal fat was not maintained at six months, this means that the treatment merely stimulates a temporary metabolic process that reduces the size of fat cells sans inducing cell death.

"Carboxytherapy provides a transient decrease in subcutaneous fat that may not persist," the researchers wrote in their study.

Advantages Of Carboxytherapy

Alam said that the technique still has potentials as a new and effective means of reducing fat, citing some of the benefits of carboxytherapy.

Alam said that carbon dioxide is a safe and inexpensive gas. He also said that injecting the gas into the body's fat pockets may be preferred by patients who want natural treatments. Patients also increasingly prefer noninvasive fat reductions, as these do not take long downtimes, avoids scarring, and are perceived safe.

Technologies currently used for noninvasive fat reduction include radiofrequency, chemical adipocytolysis, cryolipolysis, high-intensity ultrasound, and laser-assisted fat reduction.

Alam said that the technique may provide another noninvasive option for people who want to reduce belly fat if it can provide prolonged benefits. Unfortunately, the researchers do not think that carboxytherapy is now ready for prime time.

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