It sounds too good to be true, a transdermal patch that will provide a continuous stream of appetite suppressing, metabolism boosting medicine into your blood stream allowing you to shed those extra pounds with minimal effort. Those who have long battled to control their weight are all too familiar with outrageous claims and may wish to immediately dismiss the slimming patch as just one of many weight-loss scams. However, patches have been successfully used to administer pain medications, pharmaceutical-grade nicotine, and other therapeutic medications. Perhaps these patches deserve a second look. How do weight loss patches work, and have they proven to be effective?
There are several different brands of weight loss patches on the market. Most are infused with a combination of guarana, chromium and garcinia cambogia. Guarana is a derivative of seeds from a tree grown in the Amazon region of South American. It is commonly used as a flavoring in Brazilian soft drinks. These seeds are noted for their high concentration of caffeine, which, by weight, is two- to three-times greater than that of coffee. Taken as a food supplement, guarana may promote weight-loss when combined with polyphenol compounds such as those found in green tea, chocolate and red wine. The side effects are the same as those experienced with coffee or other caffeinated foods and beverages, upset stomach, anxiety, sleep disorders and increased heart rate.
Chromium is a mineral required by the body for proper digestion. It is found naturally in potato skins, whole grains, meats, molasses and yeast. It works to move sugar from the blood stream into the cells to provide them with energy. Chromium supplements may help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Excessive amounts of chromium have been linked to kidney failure, lung cancer and skin inflammation.
Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit native to Indonesia. Its active ingredient, hydroxycitric acid, is touted, most famously by television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, as having the ability to block the absorption of carbohydrates thereby promoting weight loss. Clinical trials have failed to support this claim, although some people have reported successfully losing weight using garcinia cambogia. Although this plant-based supplement is generally considered safe for consumption, some users have reported headaches, digestive disorders and nausea with its use.
The ingredients used in weight loss patches are classified as supplements, and they are not subjected to the rigorous testing the Food and Drug Administration requires for medicines. Consumers need to take caution, and consult with a physician, before using these products. The Federal Trade Commission, which oversees advertising, has successfully sued several manufacturers of the weight loss patch for false advertising.
Reviews of the slimming patch provide anecdotal information about the patch’s effectiveness. Many users claim they have successfully lost weight with the patch. It is possible these users were experiencing a placebo effect, as weight control is often more of a behavioral issue than a physiological one. Further study is needed to definitively conclude if weight loss patches are a safe and effective tool in the weight control battle.