NORTH CAROLINA (WTOL) - U.S. Researchers claim to have developed a medicated skin patch that is able to increase metabolism and then turn energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning brown fat cells.
Unfortunately for now it's only been tested in mice.
Still, the research could mean that someday a patch could be applied to human bodies to burn off pockets of unwanted fat such as "love handles".
It would also be an effective way to treat disorders like obesity and diabetes.
The latest research comes out of the Columbia University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina.
The development comes after years of research into finding ways that an adult's white fat could be converted to the brown fat, which can be more easily burned off.
The key to the new therapy is the use of some clinically available drugs that promote the fat conversion without side effects by delivering smaller quantities of the drugs directly into the fat tissue via a patch.
The new approach has been tested in obese mice and showed a 20 percent reduction in fat on the treated fat compared to fat that was untreated.
The mice also had significantly lower fasting blood glucose levels than untreated mice.
The "fat" patch has not been tested in humans at this point, but researchers are working to eventually produce one that can be as effective in humans.