Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy for Weight Loss

“Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy for Body Contouring and Spot Fat Reduction

Caruso-Davis MK, Guillot TS, Podichetty VK, Mashtalir N, Dhurandhar NV, Dubuisson O, Yu Y, Greenway FL, School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, USA.
Obes Surg. 2010 Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 20393809 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

BACKGROUND: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is commonly used in medical applications, but scientific studies of its efficacy and the mechanism by which it causes loss of fat from fat cells for body contouring are lacking. This study examined the effectiveness and mechanism by which 635-680 nm LLLT acts as a non-invasive body contouring intervention method.

METHODS: Forty healthy men and women ages 18-65 years with a BMI < 30 kg/m(2) were randomized 1:1 to laser or control treatment. Subject’s waistlines were treated 30 min twice a week for 4 weeks. Standardized waist circumference measurements and photographs were taken before and after treatments 1, 3, and 8. Subjects were asked not to change their diet or exercise habits. In vitro assays were conducted to determine cell lysis, glycerol, and triglyceride release. RESULTS: Data were analyzed for those with body weight fluctuations within 1.5 kg during 4 weeks of the study. Each treatment gave a 0.4-0.5 cm loss in waist girth. Cumulative girth loss after 4 weeks was -2.15 cm (-0.78 ± 2.82 vs. 1.35 ± 2.64 cm for the control group, p < 0.05). A blinded evaluation of standardized pictures showed statistically significant cosmetic improvement after 4 weeks of laser treatment. In vitro studies suggested that laser treatment increases fat loss from adipocytes by release of triglycerides, without inducing lipolysis or cell lysis. CONCLUSIONS: LLLT achieved safe and significant girth loss sustained over repeated treatments and cumulative over 4 weeks of eight treatments. The girth loss from the waist gave clinically and statistically significant cosmetic improvement. Fat liquefaction: effect of low-level laser energy on adipose tissue Neira R, Arroyave J, Ramirez H, Ortiz et al. Plast Reconstr Surg 2002 Sep 110:912-922 Low-level laser energy has been increasingly used in the treatment of a broad range of conditions and has improved wound healing, reduced edema, and relieved pain of various etiologies. This study examined whether 635-nm low-level lasers had an effect on adipose tissue in vivo and the procedural implementation of lipoplasty/liposuction techniques. The experiment investigated the effect of 635-nm, 10-mW diode laser radiation with exclusive energy dispersing optics. Total energy values of 1.2 J/cm(2), 2.4 J/cm(2), and 3.6 J/cm(2) were applied on human adipose tissue taken from lipectomy samples of 12 healthy women. The tissue samples were irradiated for 0, 2, 4, and 6 minutes with and without tumescent solution and were studied using the protocols of transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Nonirradiated tissue samples were taken for reference. More than 180 images were recorded and professionally evaluated. All microscopic results showed that without laser exposure the normal adipose tissue appeared as a grape-shaped node. After 4 minutes of laser exposure, 80 percent of the fat was released from the adipose cells; at 6 minutes of laser exposure, 99 percent of the fat was released from the adipocyte. The released fat was collected in the interstitial space. Transmission electron microscopic images of the adipose tissue taken at x60,000 showed a transitory pore and complete deflation of the adipocytes. The low-level laser energy affected the adipose cell by caus ing a transitory pore in the cell membrane to open, which permitted the fat content to go from inside to outside the cell. The cells in the interstitial space and the capillaries remained intact. Low-level laser-assisted lipoplasty has a significant impact on the procedural implementation of lipoplasty techniques. Lasers for Love Handles? Lasers Surg Med. 2011 Feb;43(2):114-21. We know that lasers are a valuable tool to reduce inflammation, pain and stimulate tissue healing. Yet, there is a lot of confusing information about the therapeutic effect of extremely low level lasers in the range of 5 to 30 milliwatts for fat reduction. This clinical trial described and evaluated the effectiveness of the Erchonia “Zerona” Laser System for fat reduction and body contouring. Circumference measurements revealed no statistically significant reduction in fat. Ultrasound measurements also did not reveal a statistically significant reduction in fat layer thickness. Research does document the effectiveness of high powered, hot lasers to dissolve fat which can then absorbed by the body. Cool lasers have been proven to make tissue look better but we believe that is due to its effect of stimulating collagen production. I am sorry to say that there is no proof at the present time that cool lasers can get rid of those love handles! More Laser Less Fat!! Lasers Surg Med.;41(10):799-809 In the field of plastic surgery, it is well known that hot laser liposuction can reduce fat in unwanted places. However, newer research is showing that LLLT may also be helpful. In this study they noted that electron microscopic images demonstrated the formation of small holes in fat cells subsequent to laser irradiation. They did a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2-week LLLT trial and included sixty-seven volunteers between the ages of 18-65. The study added up the decrease in the combined circumferences of participants 4 body parts, the waist, hips, and thighs. The treatment group experienced a total loss of 3.51 inches, or about 1 inch for each of the four body parts. These data suggest that low-level laser therapy can reduce overall circumference measurements of fatty regions. Noninvasive Body Sculpting Technologies with an Emphasis on High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Jewell ML, Solish NJ, Desilets CS Aesthetic Plast Surg 2011 Apr 1 BACKGROUND: Body-sculpting procedures are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Although surgical lipoplasty remains the most common body sculpting procedure, a demand exists for noninvasive alternatives capable of reducing focal adiposity without the risks of adverse events (AEs) associated with invasive excisional body-sculpting procedures. METHODS: This report describes the mechanism of action, efficacy, safety, and tolerability of cryolipolysis, radiofrequency ablation, low-level external laser therapy, injection lipolysis, low-intensity nonthermal ultrasound, and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), with an emphasis on thermal HIFU. The articles cited were identified via a PubMed search, with additional article citations identified by manual searching of the reference lists of articles identified through the literature search. RESULTS: Each of the noninvasive treatments reviewed can be administered on an outpatient basis. These treatments generally have fewer complications than lipoplasty and require little or no anesthesia or analgesia. However, HIFU is the only treatment that can produce significant results in a single treatment, and only radiofrequency, low-level laser therapy, and cryolipolysis have been approved for use in the United States. Early clinical data on HIFU support its efficacy and safety for body sculpting. In contrast, radiofrequency, laser therapy, and injection lipolysis have been associated with significant AEs. CONCLUSIONS: The published literature suggests that noninvasive body-sculpting techniques such as radiofrequency ablation, cryolipolysis, external low-level lasers, laser ablation, nonthermal ultrasound, and HIFU may be appropriate options for nonobese patients requiring modest reduction of adipose tissue." Click Here to View Article Link
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