Cryotherapy puts obesity on ice: new weight-loss study

Cryotherapy, which involves standing in a freezing chamber for a few minutes to super-cool the body, has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels while also reducing waistline measurements.

cryotherapy in honolulu puts obesity on ice

“Our results indicate that whole body cryostimulation is beneficial in the treatment of obesity,” said Dr. Jacopo Fontana of the Istituto Auxologico Piancavallo in Verbania, Italy. “The improvements in blood fats and glucose were particularly striking.”

To test cryotherapy’s potential for treating obesity, Fontana’s team gathered 29 men and women with obesity and divided them into two groups.

The first group received 10 two-minute cryotherapy sessions at minus 166 degrees over two weeks, plus a diet and exercise regimen.

The second group received fake or “sham” cryotherapy sessions with the diet and exercise program.

The results, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Dublin, showed that waist measurements were reduced much more in the cryotherapy group — a 5.6% decrease in the cryotherapy group, compared with a 1.4% decrease in the sham-therapy group.

And both groups lowered their cholesterol levels, but the reduction in the cryotherapy group was roughly double that of the sham-therapy group.

Total cholesterol, for example, fell 20.2% in the cryotherapy group, but only 9.4% in the sham-therapy group.

Doctors believe these results might be due to the subzero temperatures converting the body’s white adipose tissue — sometimes called “white fat” — into brown adipose tissue, which breaks down sugar and fat molecules in an effort to warm the body.


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