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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2011 Jun;21(6):722-9.
doi: 10.1007/s11695-010-0126-y.

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

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Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

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

Mary K Caruso-Davis et al. Obes Surg. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

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/m2 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.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
The difference in girth loss between placebo and the LAPEX 2000 LipoLaser at treatments 1, 3, and 8 were all 0.4 to 0.5 cm, and the difference in girth loss at treatment 3 was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The difference in cumulative girth loss compared from treatment 1 to 3 was statistically significant by LOCF or completer's analysis (p < 0.05). The difference in cumulative girth loss at treatment 8 was significant in subjects who remained within 1.5 kg of their baseline weights (p < 0.05)
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Blinded appearance ratings on a 0–3 scale over 4 weeks and eight treatments favored the LAPEX 2000 LipoLaser treatment compared to the placebo treatment (p < 0.001)
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Woman before and after 4 weeks and eight treatments with the LAPEX 2000 LipoLaser
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Man before and after 4 weeks and eight treatments with the LAPEX 2000 LipoLaser
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Woman before and after 4 weeks and eight treatments with the placebo LAPEX 2000 LipoLaser who maintained her weight within 1.5 kg of starting weight
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Woman who lost 2.2 kg before and after 4 weeks and eight treatments with the LAPEX 2000 LipoLaser
Fig. 7
Fig. 7
Woman who lost 2.7 kg before and after 4 weeks and eight treatments with the placebo LAPEX 2000 LipoLaser
Fig. 8
Fig. 8
The number of live and dead cells measured by propidium iodide and the cellular metabolism measured by calcein with and without laser treatment
Fig. 9
Fig. 9
Human adipocytes in culture before and after LAPEX 2000 LipoLaser irradiation for 10 min in the presence of serum in which triglycerides were released—cells remain intact without evidence of lysis

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