Weight-Loss Patch – Slimming Patch or Diet Patch?

By Sara Lindberg on Apr 15, 2019
Medically reviewed by Anthony Dugarte M.D.

Losing weight is hard. For some people, it is a lifetime struggle to take off the pounds, only to find the scale creeping back up after quitting whatever diet program they were on. So what happens when someone so desperate to lose weight comes across an online advertisement for a weight-loss patch guaranteed to take the pounds off?

This ongoing cycle of losing and gaining is not only physically straining on your body, it’s also mentally and emotionally exhausting.

Overview

What is a Weight-Loss Patch?

Google weight loss or “diet patches,” as they are often called, and your bound to come across a variety of brands and claims of “instant” and “effortless” weight loss. Similar to a nicotine patch, weight-loss patches are waterproof adhesive patches usually put on your upper arm, abdomen, or shoulder blade.

Most manufactures will tell a user to put them on upon rising in the morning, and keep it on until you replace it the following morning.

Sounds intriguing, right? But, how do users know if the ingredients in the patch they are using are effective and able to be delivered through the skin? Unfortunately, they don’t.

Most experts will tell you that no diet patch has passed the test in any scientific study. Very often, any studies or research published about the effectiveness comes from a company trying to sell the product or a group that is affiliated with the product.

Weight Loss Patches

Is a Weight-Loss Patches the Same as a Slimming Patch?

The simple answer is kind of. Most weight-loss patches publish similar claims and use the sames ingredients as a slimming patch. However, the more in-depth answer to this question depends on the slim patch and what it claims to do.

Most companies advertise a weight loss patch or slimming patch as an herbal or “all natural” patch. It supposedly helps users lose weight by suppressing appetite, increasing fat burning and stimulating metabolism.

Directions

How Do You Use a Weight-Loss Patch?

The idea behind a weight-loss patch is simple: it’s a convenient way to deliver ingredients into the body without having to remember to take a pill. In the medical world, this type of delivery system is called transdermal.

A diet patch or transdermal patch, similar to Thrive Patch, delivers the ingredients (in the patch) through the skin in a non-invasive manner. Most of these patches are secured with adhesives, which are designed to adhere comfortably to the skin.

FDA Approved?

Is there a FDA Approved Weight-Loss Patch?

There are no FDA approved weight-loss patch on the market. Since there is no scientific evidence to back-up the claims of weight-loss patches, one cannot say whether they are safe or not. In fact, in 2004, the Federal Trade Commission, charged a patch manufacturer with falsely claiming that the skin patch causes substantial weight-loss.

It can be very difficult to determine if one of these products is entirely safe or effective for weight-loss. However, to determine safety, each ingredient needs to be examined for contraindications and possible negative side-effects.

Slim Patch

Ingredients

Common Weight-Loss Patch Ingredients

Garcinia CambogiaA fruit-bearing tree with an active ingredient in the fruit’s rind, hydroxycitic acid, or HCA, appears to block an enzyme called citrate lyase, which your body uses to make fat, states WebMD. Products with this ingredient say that the HCA inhibits lipogenesis and suppress food intake. Research findings indicate little to no effect on body weight.

L-CarnitineAn amino acid (building block for proteins) that is naturally produced in the body. Supplementing with L-carnitine is most used for people whose levels are low , during the process of a medical procedure that uses up the body’s L-carnitine, or taking certain drugs.

Simply, L-carnitine helps the body produce energy. It’s important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and any other body processes, according to Examine.com. People who use it for weight loss claim that it increases the amount of fat burned while increasing muscle mass, and maintaining energy levels.

5-HTP5-Hydroxytryptophan, is a chemical by-product of the protein building block L-tryptophan and is, as reported by MedlinePlus, commonly used for:

  • Headaches
  • Obesity
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • ADHD

5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. When used in a weight-loss patch, manufacturers claim it can affect things like appetite, sleep, mood, and temperature.

PyruvateThe body produces pyruvate when it breaks down sugar (glucose). Products with this ingredient claim to increase lipolysis and energy expenditure. However, the research findings in Medical Science Monitor indicate a possible minimal effect on body weight and body fat.

Green tea (Camellia sinensis)A delicious variety of tea that is consumed worldwide, this drink has several purported health benefits. However, the research findings only suggest a possible modest effect on body weight.

Experts have suggested that green tea and its components might reduce body weight by increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation, reducing lipogenesis and decrease fat absorption.

Hoodia Hoodia gordonii is a succulent plant native to Africa. Weight-loss patch manufacturers claim this ingredient suppresses appetite and helps reduce food intake. But, there is very little published research in humans, according to The Mayo Clinic.

ChromiumAn essential trace mineral that potentiates the action of insulin. Weight-loss products mostly contain the chromium picolinate form. Research findings indicate there is minimal effect on body weight and body fat, according to WebMD.

GuaranaAn herbal source of caffeine commonly found in dietary products promoted for weight-loss. Caffeine works to stimulate the central nervous system, increase thermogenesis, and fat oxidation.

Short-term clinical trials of combination products and research findings state caffeine may have a possible modest effect on body weight or decreased weight gain over time, states eMedicineHealth.

Bladder Wrack (Fucus Vesiculosus)This brown seaweed is found in the ocean and contains iodine, which may prompt your thyroid gland to increase metabolism, says Examine.com. Research to support the use of fucus as a weight-loss aid is minimal.

Weight Loss Patch Side Effects

Side Effects

Potential Side Effects of a Weight-Loss Patch

Any one of the ingredients in a weight-loss patch can have an adverse side effect. If you are not being supervised by a medical professional—who has approved the use of the ingredients—than you may be putting your health in danger.

L-carnitine can cause problems for people taking certain medications, or have high blood pressure. However, it can cause an adverse reaction when taken with certain medications, according to Drugs.com.

However, Dr Axe states garcinia is reported to have few safety concerns and only a few adverse effects including:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • GI symptoms
  • Upper Respiratory Tract Symptoms

It’s easy to see how the safety of a product that contains multiple ingredients. However, this can only be determined by examining each ingredient. Plus, looking at their effect on any health conditions or interactions with medications.

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on the Weight-Loss Patch

For most people, there is only one way to lose weight: eat less food (or fewer high-calorie foods) and increase activity. However, a reasonable and healthy weight loss is about 1 to 2 pounds a week.

If companies say a weight-loss patch offers “rapid” or “quick” weight loss – it should be questioned. Especially, if it guarantees users weight loss without having to diet or exercise.

What does seem to be possible, however, is the fact that many people who try a weight-loss patch, often follow a new exercise and nutrition program. This new lifestyle is in conjunction with using the weight-loss patch. Therefore, they lose weight. And while some may claim the weight loss is from the weight-loss patch, it’s actually from the changes in their diet and fitness regime.

About the Author:

Sara Lindberg, B.S., M.Ed., is a fitness expert with 20+ years of experience. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s degree in Counseling. She’s spent her life spreading the word to and educating people on the importance of health, wellness, fitness, parenting and mental health. She specializes in the mind-body connection, with a focus on how our mental and emotional well-being impacts our physical fitness and health.

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