We all have those stubborn areas of fat, on our stomachs, under our arms, our bottoms and our chins, that despite our best efforts refuse to budge. And no amount of exercise will shift them. In the past, it took several uncomfortable liposuction sessions to get rid of the fat that had accumulated, but now a new fat infection could put paid to all that.
Aqualyx is a new treatment that dissolves the fat and allows our bodies natural processes to remove it. And its makers say it is perfect for those hard to get rid of fat areas like the stomach and under arms.
The way it works is that it melts or liquefies the fat calls, and it is these products that are then naturally removed by your body’s lymphatic system. The way it is able to do this is because Aqualyx contains a compound called desoxycholan-acid, which is a secondary bile acid. Our body uses bacteria to produce this acid itself in the liver in order to aid the digestion of fat. This is an active substance that then locks on to the fat cell walls and starts to break down the cell wall which makes it become unstable and then the fatty acids stored in the cell are released and the body can remove them.
Depending on the size of the affected area, on average you should expect have to expect around 3 to 5 treatments, with 3-week intervals, for the best results. Immediately after treatment you will experience redness and swelling in the treated area, and you might feel a burning sensation. These should die down after a couple of days. The treatment itself is virtually pain free as it contains an additional local anaesthetic.
One doctor who has carried out the procedure is Dr James Kimilu who has his own clinic in Liverpool City Centre. Dr Kimilu said: “Aqualyx is a fat removal therapy used as an alternative to liposuction. It is not intended for weight loss, but to improve the contour of the body. It is used to reduce stubborn fat deposits in areas such as the chin, stomach, saddle bags, outer and inner thighs, back fat and thoracic folds and injected directly into the subcutaneous fat tissue using very thin, sharp cannulas. The treated fat cells are gradually dissolved and the metabolism in the area is increased. It’s ideal for those patients with stubborn fat that will not respond to diet and exercise.”
Some doctors however, are not as enthusiastic, and are worried that patients run the risk of increased cholesterol and diabetes. Dr Arun Ghosh from Spire Hospital Liverpool said: “I’ve seen a lot of treatments that claim to reduce fat by breaking it down into an acid so the body reabsorbs it then passes it out and it just doesn’t happen. It’s so dangerous to reabsorb fatty acids into your blood stream as if it’s dissolved down into salt it would send your cholesterol levels sky-high. If it’s broken down into sugars then you are sending your glucose levels sky high that can lead to diabetes. I can’t see any independent evidence that backs up the claims of Aqualyx, which makes me very sceptical of this. The only real way to get rid of stubborn areas of fat is to dissolve it and suck it out with liposuction.”
Dr Ghosh is not the only sceptical one, Dr Yannis Alexandrides, MD of 111 Harley Street, was also unconvinced: “I don’t use fat removal injectables in my clinic and certainly have no plans to until there is further research and trials published. It’s always important that prospective patients thoroughly research treatments before they book, and these injectables are very new to the market with little evidence of their efficacy other than that produced by the manufacturer.” He added: “While the cost is certainly affordable and attractive, those thinking of having the procedure must look at alternatives available that have proven results and existing patient testimonials. Also, prospective patients must undergo a full consultation to determine the right procedure for their concern.”
And nutrition and fitness expert and author of The Fat Burn Revolution, Julia Buckley believes that diet and exercise are still the key: “I’m still very sceptical about the claims the manufacturer is making. But even if it does destroy fat cells, if people do not change their lifestyles, I expect that the body would produce new fat cells to replace them.”