Why Your Doctor Might Recommend Botox for Weight Loss
Scientists have found a way to turn botox into a weight loss drug. But, is it really safe? Choose natural foods that you can eat to curb your appetite and boost your metabolism, instead.
Botox is well-known for its ability to rid your face of wrinkles (and, in some cases, expressions). It's even used to help curb excessive sweat production in your armpits and hands, among other areas. But now, there's a new way to use Botox and it could help you shed that extra weight!
Some very interesting study results were revealed at 2016's Digestive Disease Week. Norway scientists studied a group of 20 obese individuals with a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 35 to 44. They were given Botox injections directly into the nerve controlling the stomach's perception of hunger. The study participants got three botox injections, given six months apart.
After 12 months, 14 of the 20 patients had lost an average of 17 percent of their extra body weight. After 18 months, 15 patients had shed, on average, 28 percent of their excess body weight.
While the study's results are quite promising, the sample size was quite small. Researchers need to perform larger, more comprehensive studies before you'll see Botox injections as a mainstream weight loss option.
Is Botox a Safe Weight Loss Remedy?
While Botox appears to be fairly effective in helping you lose weight, there are some serious safety concerns to consider. And since Botox has only been in widespread use since 2002, its long-term effects remain a mystery. Add to this the fact that you can purchase Botox online.
Invasiveness is a major drawback of injecting Botox for weight loss. And you'd need an injection every few months because the Botox effects gradually fade. Any time you get an injection, there's a very real risk of infection.
There's also a risk that the doctor could inject Botox into the wrong location. A matter of millimeters can mean the difference between a successful procedure and epic failure. If the doctor failed to inject the Botox properly, you'd miss out on any weight loss benefit and you could even suffer serious health problems (depending upon where it's injected).
As most people know, Botox is derived from botulinum toxin (the stuff that causes botulism). Some more sensitive individuals can see systemic botulism-like symptoms like full-body muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, trouble speaking, labored breathing, a loss of bladder control and vision problems. And these symptoms aren't short-lived; they can last for weeks or even months in some cases.
An article in the UK Daily Mail recently highlighted the long term neurological dangers. This powerful neurotoxin could have a long term impact on sensory neurons. There's also a danger to your nervous system and muscles, which may translate into serious effects like chronic twitching, spasms and numbness.
Botox (and botulinum toxin) affects the way your nerves pass messages between your body and your brain. It inhibits the release of a key neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is responsible for telling your muscles to move. Nerve endings release neurotransmitters to send messages across the nerve gap (called a synapse) or a space between the nerve and a structure like a muscle fiber. Botox interrupts this communication, which is good when you're trying to “disable” nerves that control your perception of “fullness” or facial muscles that cause wrinkles. But when this process is interrupted in other areas of your body, the result can be dramatic.
According to Psychology Today, researchers recently announced another shocking finding: Botox injections in the forehead cause the brain to rearrange its sensory map of the hands. This means getting Botox injections changes the way your brain processes the sensation of touch in any given location on your hand. The finding is significant because it's unclear if injecting Botox in other areas, like the stomach, could produce a similar effect. It's also unknown if the changes are permanent.
Natural Foods That Suppress Your Appetite and Help You Lose Weight
If you're less-than-keen on injecting a potent toxin into your body with hopes of losing weight, then you'll enjoy these more natural weight loss remedies.
There are lots of foods that can help you lose weight by speeding your metabolism or tricking your brain into thinking your stomach is full (among many other mechanisms).
Give special attention to foods impacting leptin, a hormone that signals your brain to say it's time to stop eating. It also works like an “on” switch for your metabolism. But it's important to avoid too much leptin, because this lowers your sensitivity to the hormone. You can't eat leptin because it can't be absorbed through the intestines, but certain foods can increase your sensitivity to leptin:
• Grapefruit lowers insulin levels, which stimulates leptin sensitivity.
• Dark chocolate contains steric acid which makes you feel fuller longer by slowing the digestion process. Oh, and the bitterness of dark chocolate (ideally, with 70 percent cocoa) naturally curbs your appetite!
• Almonds boost leptin sensitivity thanks to their high levels of protein, zinc, essential fatty acids and fiber.
• Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach and collard greens can restore leptin sensitivity.
• Fish is a lean protein that helps regulate your body's leptin levels.
• Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, but eaten occasionally, they benefit your diet because they tell your brain, “Stomach is full! Time to stop eating!”
• Apples are fiber-rich and contain pectin. Pectin slows your digestion and you feel fuller for longer.
• Broccoli isn't just rich in calcium that speeds your metabolism, it also prevents leptin resistance.
- Whey Protein curbs your appetite better than casein protein. Researchers found that people who took whey protein ate less their next meal compared to those who had casein protein.
- Tofu contains genistein, which lowers your appetite.
- Wasabi suppresses your appetite and lowers any inflammation in your body – which is great since inflammation is linked with obesity.
Avoid foods that decrease leptin sensitivity, like simple starches (i.e. potatoes, white flour) and sugary foods containing high-fructose corn syrup.
A final tip? Always eat breakfast! (And consider a whole grain cereal to increase leptin sensitivity even more!) Eating breakfast promotes leptin sensitivity, helping you shed those pounds --- all without the need to inject your body with toxins!