Friday, January 22nd, 2010
27

Lasers Will Make You Thin!

Can you zap away fat with lasers? Apparently so! Still, there is one troubling question: "[W]hat happens to the fat once it has leaked out of the cell?"

"The body can't excrete fat: it doesn't come out through the urine or the stool. We need to find out where it's going before we know whether these treatments will be truly safe and effective," says Molly Wanner, a dermatologist from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who uses lasers for other medical procedures.

Um, I think I'd like them to figure that part out before I go under the lens. Also, ewww.

27 Comments / Post A Comment

mathnet (#27)

Wait, how does "burned" fat get out then?

THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A PLACE TO ASK THIS QUESTION

josh_speed (#97)

It's oxidized and is burnt into its components, then excreted?

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV.

mathnet (#27)

"The body transports fatty acids to the liver to be broken down into products which then undergo oxidative phosphorylation – a process which produces energy."

You know things! And I should read things!

That's about the kind of fat you eat, btw. Not the kind of fat you, erm… are?
No, not YOU! The general "you"!

kneetoe (#1,881)

So if you want to lose weight you should eat yourself?

Also, not to get all sciency up in here, but when you "burn" fat, you're not actually losing fat cells. They are merely shrinking, because they are elastic. Surgery is the only way your body can get rid of the actual cells.

mathnet (#27)

So when you "burn" fat through exercise OR LASERING, where does the stuff that was in your elastic fat cells go when those elastic fat cells shrink? It's not the oxidative phosphorwhateverthing above–that's just when you eat fat?

The stuff inside the fat cells (totally scientific terms!) does, indeed, get metabolized (eventually) via exercise. The lasered fat cells that are vaporized, however, might overburden the kidneys if too many are "treated" at once, I believe?

(I haven't actually read this article, but I do know that surgeons have been trying to figure out how to do stuff like this — make lipo less invasive and, thus, easier on the body & easier to recover from — for years & years. Also to try to "sculpt" the body more! [insert The More You Know rainbow here])

Tuna Surprise (#573)

*call me

I have a 'friend' who has localized pockets of fat (aka saddlebags) and is interested in your vast knowledge on this subject.

Just remember: You can't spot reduce!

(Except maybe with this whole lasering thing? Or this newfangled freezing thing they're talking about? Yeah, I finally read the article.)

The "fat" is basically big molecules made of carbon (heavy atom) and hydrogen (very light atom), with occasionally other things thrown on. The body produces gains by breaking the molecules into bits. The carbon in "burned" fat winds up as the "C" in CO2, the hydrogen winds up various places including water.

So to make a long story short, weight-wise, most of the fat is exhaled as CO2.

mathnet (#27)

Innnnneresting!

KarenUhOh (#19)

Now I understand why those guys on the Enterprise are always fazing each other after they get high and eat an entire carton of Space Food Sticks.

My method involves two aspirin and a meat cleaver, so there's always a Plan B, people!

I recommend you switch to ibuprofen, since aspirin thins the blood, which the neighbors below you may have noticed.

mathnet (#27)

Their idea so far? Is to make you exercise after the lasering, to burn off the fat. Thanks, Science!

But the body sure does excrete something when you take Alli…

jolie (#16)

May I ask: Did you all recently receive a complementary subscription to the Boston Globe or something?

We need to find out where it's going before we know whether these treatments will be truly safe and effective. What kind of fake liberal science scariness are they worried about now? There's commerce to be had, so zap baby zap.

slinkimalinki (#182)

aint nothing wrong with turning into a sloshing bag of fat.

kneetoe (#1,881)

Just one more thing that makes me thank god my body's so perfect (well, you brought up the subject, so it's ok).

HiredGoons (#603)

I take it then, burning someone with a laser in England is called a lensing?

The use of "lensing" makes me suspect this is not really a legit article, but rather an episode of "Look Around You."

My friend Tyler makes awesome soap.

iplaudius (#1,066)

If this were an episode of House, the fat cells would be storing a vicious payload of toxins that the laser would cause to be released throughout the system, wreaking havoc on the patient’s organs. The patient would be embarrassed, and would lie about the secret fat-laser surgery he had in … Brazil. After several false starts, including a diagnosis involving a cadmium overdose from Brazil nuts, and the good Dr. House would figure it all out, call the patient a "former fatty," and prescribe a diet of chicken soup and coconut cream.

SemperBufo (#1,849)

There's only one relevant question here: will this make me smell like bacon?

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