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. A recent study conducted at the School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge examined the effectiveness and mechanism by which 635 nm to 680 nm LLLT acts as a noninvasive body contouring intervention method.
The researchers conclude that 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.The study will be published in the April 15, 2010 issue of the journal Obesity Surgery, and last week was released online in advance of the print edition.
Forty healthy men and women ages 18 to 65 years with a BMI <30 kg/m(2) were randomized 1:1 to laser or control treatment. Subject’s waistlines were treated for 30 minutes 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. The resulting 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.
[Source: Obesity Surgery]