Most people are very skeptical that application of any cream to the skin could cause a local reduction in fat. So, it is really surprising that creams that contain aminophylline (pronounced a min off a lin) seem to work.
A study in the scientific journal, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (9:300-303, 2007) evaluated women with a BMI greater than 27, who were on a reduced calorie diet and participating in a walking program. Half of the study subjects rubbed cream containing 0.5% aminophylline on their waist twice per day. After 12 weeks those that used the cream lost 11 cm (4.3 in) from their waists, whereas those who did not use the cream lost 5 cm (2 in). Additionally, the decrease in waist measurement, improved the waist to hip ratio. Since shape, apple vs. pear is important; the improved ratio will have health benefits.
The data clearly show that a cream applied to the skin containing aminophylline can mobilize fat and make the waist smaller.
Since there were only 50 subjects in total, this study is limited in its scope. Therefore, there are a couple of things to consider with regards to this study.
First, all the study participants were on a calorie-restricted diet and participated in a walking program, and so were losing fat. It is possible that local fat reduction in response to aminophylline only works when loss of fat is already occurring. Since the majority of adults are on a diet, if this is the case, it is probably not much of a problem.
Second, the cream was only applied to the waist. It could be that this effect is only seen round the abdomen and not in other places such as upper arms. From a health point of view the best place to reduce fat is round the abdomen, so even if other spots don’t work as well, loss of inches from the waist will be beneficial.
Third, all the women in the study had a high waist to hip ratio. It is possible that those with a better ratio may have a slightly different fat physiology and aminophylline may not be so effective. Those with a better ratio, though for cosmetic reasons they may wish to lose abdominal fat, are already in a lower risk category for a range of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The three points above are just possibilities. Until there is further research, the situations in which aminophylline is the most effective, will remain open to speculation. Since the body shape and body mass category of the study participants, for whom the cream worked well, is very common, the use of creams containing aminophylline is going to be effective in a large number of people.
The ability to mobilize fat from the abdomen by surface (topical) application of a cream containing aminophylline presents a great step forward in both health and cosmetic improvements in body shape.