New Fat Fighting Machines: Real, FDA Approved

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Zeltiq

Two new machines that either freeze or deflate fat cells, helping to assist weight loss and even change a person’s overall shape, may be on the market soon. According to the FDA, they are not a gimmick.

The agency approved both devices for use in doctor’s offices as part of a “body contouring treatment.”  With 66%of the population overweight or obese and nearly everyone aspiring to a difficult body ideal, the Zeltiq Coolsculpting system (which freezes fat cells, disintegrating them over time) and the Zerona (which essentially “pops” them, emptying their contents for your body to dispose) are bound to be popular. (More on Time.com: See a gallery of five potassium rich foods you should looks out for)

But a Wall Street Journal article warns that fat cells are not simple enough to annihilate without consequences:

Fat cells are not just passive storage depots for surplus calories. They are busy chemical factories that send signals all over the body, helping to regulate growth, puberty, healing, disease-fighting and aging. Among the 100 or more hormones that fat cells secrete are adiponectine, which helps manage metabolism, and leptin, which tells the brain to eat more or less (although the brain doesn’t always listen).

And as Healthland posted earlier, environmental toxicants are stored in fat cells as well.  If many of them disintegrate quickly in a short period of time, it’s theoretically possible there could be a blood toxicity issue.

More from Time.com:

Can We Tell Our Genes to Make Us Fat?

See photos of teens in obesity rehab

Study: Overwight Americans Think They’re Thinner Than They Are

TIME Special: Overcoming Obesity

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