Weight-loss patches are a new trend in the diet industry. The manufacturers claim that the ingredients in these patches help people lose weight. People apply the patches to their skin over the areas where they want to lose weight.
Researchers have not studied the efficacy and safety of weight loss patches. However, limited evidence exists to confirm the effectiveness of some of the ingredients when people take them orally.
In this article, we look at whether weight loss patches can work. We also provide examples of some of the products available on the market.
What is a weight loss patch?
Weight loss patches contain different ingredients that manufacturers claim can assist people in losing weight. Some of the ingredients in weight loss patches may include:
green coffee bean extract
Hokuto mint, which is also called Japanese mint
Some weight loss patches combine several ingredients that may help people lose weight.
The patches supposedly work by releasing active ingredients from an embedded delivery system onto the skin’s surface. Then, the skin must absorb the particles of the active ingredient to allow them to enter the person’s bloodstream.
Nicotine patches are an example of medicine delivery via a patch.
An article in the British Journal of Pharmacology explains how manufacturers of transdermal patches face several challenges when developing their products.
The authors point out that active and nonmedicinal ingredients must incorporate into the appropriate delivery system, which must release the active ingredients from the patch onto the skin.
The ingredients must also be small enough to pass through the skin barrier. If they can do this and enter the bloodstream, the manufacturers must determine whether the amount in the bloodstream is safe and effective for its intended purpose.
Not all areas of the skin offer the same absorption rates, as the characteristics of the skin’s surface affect its ability to absorb. Humidity and heat are additional factors that can affect the absorption across the skin.
One of the benefits of using a patch is avoiding the need for the medicine to pass through the digestive tract. If the digestive system metabolizes an ingredient before the blood absorbs it, it may lose its effectiveness.
Researchers have not studied the effects of weight loss patches, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate their manufacture. Insufficient information about these patches is available to understand whether the ingredients in the patch will influence weight loss.
Do they work?
The FDA has not approved the use of weight loss patches because no evidence is currently available on their effectiveness and safety.
As the FDA does not control these products, they do not regulate the quantity of the active ingredients in each patch or the quality of the ingredients.
Researchers have studied the effects of oral doses of some of the ingredients in weight loss patches. However, it is not possible to claim that ingredients will have the same results in the form of a patch as they do when a person ingests them.