Magnetic weight loss is the newest fad diet supplement to hit the net. What is it and how does it work. Oh, and of course, does it work?
Magnetic Weight Loss--What is it and How does it work?
Magnets are believed to carry an inherent ability to hypnotize, in a sense, or even physically change our cellular physiology, even causing us to lose weight.
At a cellular level it's argued that bio-magnetism works by increasing cellular respiration, which is the process of breaking down macronutrients, like carbohydrates and fat, into useable forms of energy. The greater the rate of cellular respiration the greater the rate of calorie consumption.
Caloric consumption results in a negative energy balance and weight loss. Here is a quick summary of how bio-magnetism is proposed to work:
Stimulation of cellular respirations
Calories in the form of carbohydrates and fat are burned Negative energy balance occurs Weight loss
Supporters of magnetic weight loss also claim that bio-magnetism results in a reactivation of body function and metabolism. I am not clear of the scientific meaning behind this claim.
Some also claim that bio-magnetism allows your body to transform the food you absorb into a powerful combustion that burns away the excess fat permanently. This reduction of your fat cells all over your body will continue even at nighttimes when you are fast asleep.
Bio-magnetism has already been used by people throughout the world. Unfortunately, many of the websites that make this claim state that they cannot release the names of people who have tried this new weight loss method. I have no idea why they can't release the names.
There is no evidence in support of the last claims listed. However, one study did study the cellular response to bio-magnetism.
Magnetic Weight Loss -- Does it Work?
This is the abstract from the study conducted by the Department of Community Health at the University of Oregon. It was published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol 13, Issue 3 243-250, Copyright © 1994 by American College of Nutrition
The use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to monitor cellular bioenergetics during weight loss may provide novel insights regarding metabolic functioning.
METHODS: Changes were noted in 18 sedentary, moderately overweight women following a 7-week program consisting of a low-fat, 422-428 MJ/day (1010-1025 kcal/day) diet, a progressive walking program, a vitamin-mineral-fortified, isolated-protein meal supplement drink and a weekly group meeting.
Mitochondrial energy production and utilization were assessed by measuring the concentrations of inorganic phosphate (Pi) and phosphocreatine (PCr) through magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
CONCLUSIONS: Only mild changes in cellular respiration were noted. The best weight loss plan does not have to include bio-magnetism. The possible metabolic advantages associated with a program that employs moderate energy restriction (reduced caloric intake) and a regular aerobic exercise program produces by far the best results.
If you haven't already guessed, I agree with the final conclusion. As a matter of fact, the conclusion made by the author follows the rules of healthy weight loss. There is no magic to it, just simple calorie restriction with exercise. No surprise here.
To Healthy Living!
Michael A. Smith, MD
Chief Medical Consultant