For many women, cellulite is their nemesis, but are there natural treatments that could help to reduce the appearance of cellulite? Researchers have begun to uncover there might just be a few things that can help to alleviate this common but often unwelcomed skin condition.
Cellulite is very common so don’t think you’re alone! Up to 90% of women suffer from cellulite. It’s a skin condition that is caused by excessive fat storage in the adipose tissue, which exerts considerable pressure on the surrounding skin tissue and creates a dimpled irregular appearance. Although common in most women, some do suffer from this skin condition more than others due to genetics, diet or lifestyle. And although not harmful to health it can be a symptom of an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. For example, detoxification might be sluggish due to poor liver health, poor digestion or a nutrient-deficient diet. Or there might be hormonal imbalances at play such as insulin or cortisol issues or estrogen dominance. Eating an unprocessed and whole foods diet as well as exercising regularly will absolutely help to reduce the appearance of your cellulite however, sometimes that extra kick is needed and luckily new natural therapies are emerging as potential solutions.
Vitamin A is now being studied for its ability to reduce the appearance of cellulite. One randomized trial compared the application of retinal (vitamin A), to a placebo. The study was performed on fifteen 26 to 44 year old women who had requested liposuction to improve mild to moderate cellulite. After 6-months of treatment skin elasticity was increased by 10.7% while viscosity was decreased by 15.8% at the retinol-treated site. Researchers concluded that topical retinal improves the resting tensions inside the skin, which in turn smooth the skin surface.
In another double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study 46 healthy females tested an anti-cellulite product that contained retinol, caffeine and ruscogenine, (a phytochemical). The researchers used various methods to evaluate the before and after appearance of cellulite and concluded that the anti-cellulite product containing the retinol, caffeine and ruscogenine did in fact improve the appearance of the skin in comparison with the placebo.
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Another study performed on mice also included the popular anti-cellulite compound of caffeine. Caffeine is one of the most popular anti-cellulite ingredients in many cellulite creams on the market thanks to its lipolytic activity on fatty cells – in other words, it’s ability to breakdown fat cells. In this particular study an emulsion of caffeine caused a reduction of 17% on the diameter of the fatty cells compared with the control. Another study done on pigs concluded that caffeine treatment was effective when ultrasound therapy was used to enhance the permeation of the caffeine. The combination resulted in a significant reduction in the thickness of the subcutaneous adipose tissue as well as damage to the adipocytes, consequently decreasing the number of fat cells.
In a controlled, double-blind study a phosphatidylcholine-based cosmeceutical anti-cellulite gel was combined with LED light. In this study, nine healthy female volunteers with Grade II-III thigh cellulite were randomly treated twice daily with the gel on one thigh and a placebo gel on the other thigh for 3 months. Twice weekly, each thigh was exposed for a 15-minute treatment with LED light for a total of 24 treatments. At the end of the 3 months eight of the nine thighs treated with the phosphatidylcholine-based, anti-cellulite gel and LED light were downgraded to a lower cellulite grade by clinical examination, digital photography, and pinch test assessment. Minimal clinical changes were observed in the placebo treated thigh.
So although still no miracle cure is available for cellulite, researchers are hard at work to determine what might help further reduce the appearance of this skin issue. Diet and lifestyle changes are definitely the first point of call if cellulite is a problem for you, but trying out some novel natural therapies such as vitamin A, caffeine or phosphatidylcholine might just be that extra push your body needs to eliminate cellulite and give your confidence a boost.
*Article originally appeared at Green Med Info.