Can Botox be Used for Weight Loss?
- 02 October 2013
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
It is not uncommon for overweight North Americans to look for the newest easy fix to help them lose weight quickly. Those looking for an easy fix have recently begun seeking a new treatment despite a lack of evidence showing its effectiveness. The treatment they seek is known as “gastric Botox injections” and involves
the administration of a Botox injection(s) in the stomach. This year researchers from the Mayo Clinic published a study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, demonstrating that Botox is not helpful for weight loss.
Theorizing that it would delay emptying of the stomach, increase the feeling of being “full”, thus helping individuals lose weight, injections of botulinum toxin A (BTA), or Botox as it is commonly known, into the stomach have gained popularity in the United States. Researchers from the recent study enrolled 60 patients classified as obese into a 24-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, concealed allocation trial to compare the effects of Botox injections to placebo injections. The results indicated that the injection did in fact slow movement of food through the stomach but this slowing did not lead to weight reduction.
Though a study done previously had shown that Botox was a promising weight loss option, this larger, more specific, and more controlled study shows otherwise. Considering that there are some risks associated with the procedure and that it does come with a monetary cost, gastric Botox injections are not a recommended method for those wanting to lose weight.
Though Botox is not effective for weigh loss, it is effective for a number of cosmetic concerns. It can smooth frown lines, crows feet and other wrinkles. It is also effective for reducing overactive sweat glands. For more information on Botox and its uses, visit the Face+Body Cosmetic Surgery website’s Botox page.