How Fat Freezing Works (and What to Expect)

What is Fat Freezing?

Cryolipolysis (or fat freezing) is a method that is used to remove fat by cooling the fat within a range of temperatures that causes cell-death of the subcutaneous fat tissue without damaging the overlaying skin. Fat freezing typically happens through a process known as thermal conductivity, which brings down the temperature of the fat cells to trigger localized cell death (also known as apoptosis). 

Typically fat freezing involves a visit to a specialized clinic, however there is an at home solution that we will discussing in this article. 

 

How Does Fat Freezing Work?

Method #1 : Fat Freezing

After puberty, most of our fat cells are developed and stay with us for the remainder of our lives.

Most of us have dense areas of fat cells, causing ‘problem’ fat areas. Diet and exercise can help us lose fat all over, but cannot specifically target these areas.

Until recently, the only solution was to remove the cells through the process of liposuction.

Cold Temperatures Can Destroy Fat Cells

In the 1980’s, several doctors noticed children developing dimples from sucking on popsicles. It was later discovered that the children’s fat cells were damaged from the cold of the popsicle, therefore causing the area to retain less fat.

Fat cells freeze at a higher temperature than other cells. When frozen for an extended period of time, crystallization occurs within the cells, causing damage. Once destroyed, they are slowly excreted from the body over several weeks.

Fat Cell Dying linear

Method #2 : Cold Thermogenesis

When we exercise or diet, our bodies use stored calories as energy. If we consume less than our baseline calories (caloric deficit), we lose body fat.

Sadly, we do not actually lose fat cells(unless we engage in fat-freezing or liposuction), they just shrink in size.

When we eat a surplus of calories, and do not exercise to burn them away, calories are stored as excess fat, expanding the fat cells.

Cold Temperatures Can Shrink Fat Cells

Aside from diet (caloric deficit) and exercise, it has recently been acknowledged that cold exposure (cold thermogenesis) is a potent fat burner.  In other words, it aids in shrinking fat cells.

Why? Because the body constantly strives to keep its temperature at 98.6 degrees F. When it’s exposed to cold, it will do all it can to retain this temperature — resulting in a very large caloric burn.

Fat Freezing Icons to demonstrate Fat Freezing1

Other Benefits of Cold Exposure

Aside from burning calories via cold (cold thermogenesis), cold exposure can have a multitude of benefits. Wearing our wraps may aid in: 

Activation of Brown Fat

Most body fat is white fat. Brown fat burns calories to produce heat, therefore reducing white fat. (R) Obese people lack brown fat

 

Regulation of Blood Sugar

Cold temperatures can increase adiponectin, which burns fat, lowers blood sugar, transports glucose into muscle, is anabolic, repairs muscles and helps recovery (R)(R2).

Immune System Improvements

According to studies, cold exposure can increase “killer cell” count and activity (R).

Reduction in Inflammation

One study has shown that cold exposure increases the production of adiponectin, a protein that aids in the reduction of inflammation.

 

Increased Lifespan

Studies found that flies and worms lived twice as long when exposed to cold (R)(R2). In one study, rats exposed to cold ate 50% more than their counterparts, weighed less, and lived 10% longer (R).

 

Improved Sleep Quality

One study showed that fluctuations in temperatures is a critical regulator in sleep cycles (R).  Another showed that participants to cold exposure achieved twice the amount of restorative sleep (R).

Increase Bone Health

Since brown fat declines with age, some researchers hypothesize that lower brown fat coincides with age decline in bone health. Since cold exposure increases brown fat, it could be an important asset (R).

 

How to Freeze Your Fat at Home

Traditionally fat freezing is an expensive process that requires expensive equipment and a specialized visit to the cryptologist center. This can cost thousands of dollars — however we’ve recently developed a product that allows you to try fat freezing at home for a fraction of the price. 

Our Isavera System comes with a kit that leverages our proprietary dual action gel packs to bring your subcutaneous fat tissue down to ideal temperatures. 

 
Isavera Classic Featured Image

We did not create our products without rigorous scientific research. Several medical studies (bottom) show that fat cell apoptosis (natural ‘programmed’ cell death) can be triggered when a specific temperature range is met. We developed our wraps and gel packs to meet this range. During our prototyping we used a thermocouple to monitor skin temperatures.

We used a thermocouple to closely monitor skin temperatures every five minutes (over a period of 80 minutes) while wearing an Isavera product. Our gel packs are custom formulated to drop skin temperature to the specific range. Once achieved, they melt to wick heat from the target area.

 
Isavera Fat Freezing Graph

To determine the correlation between surface skin temperature and subcutane- ous fat, we examined three studies that suggest an increase (on average) of +3.5°C in the subcutaneous layer [7][8][9].

The compression of the wraps, however likely reduces the increase in temperature. This is due to blood being forced from the area and more efficient skin contact with the gel pack [4].

Lastly, our gel packs are designed to contain ‘wetted ice’, which has been shown to penetrate and cool far more effectively than all other methods [5].

 
Skin Diagram

Our Dual Action Gel Packs

  • Tested and proven to safely bring subcutane- ous fat to ideal temperatures and maintain it (using proprietary gel formula).
  • Wick and distribute heat from target area to sustain optimal temperatures for fat cell apoptosis (cell death).
  • Flexible when frozen to contour to stubborn areas (without the dangers of frostbite).
Isavera Fat Freezing gel packs

What to Expect

Freezing your fat at home is a safe an effective solution to those that want to help alleviate their stubborn fat areas. Although, we must warn you, it is not a comfortable process. 

Our Isavera System is designed to get cold. Which means it my not be the best solution for those with sensitive skin. But for most of our customers, with consistency, they begin to notice results within 7-10 weeks of using the system. 


Fat Freezing Summarized

The objective of fat freezing is to cause crystalliza- tion within the fat cells, which triggers apoptosis (natural cell death). Isavera products effectively bring skin temperatures to a range of 6-12°C, with an average of 8.5°C. We concluded that the subcutaneous fat layer is approximately 3.5°C warmer than the skin’s temperature [1][2][3]. This increase in temperature, however, is likely signifi- cantly countered by the compression of our wraps and the formulation of our gel packs [4][5]. As a result, our products can effectively bring the top layer of subcutaneous fat to the temperatures that cause apoptosis.

 

Sources

A few key studies played a major role in the development of our product. We deducted that gel packs can adequately trigger cold thermogensis.

  1. Alessandra L. Gasparetti, Cláudio T. de Souza, Márcio Pereira-da-Silva, Rachel L. G. S. Oliveira, Mário J. A. Saad, Everardo M. Carneiro, Lício A. Velloso, Cold Exposure Induces Tissue-Specific Modulation of the Inslin-Signalling Pathway in Rattus Norvegicus, The Journal of Physiology, Oct 2003, doi 10.1113/jphysiol.2003.05036924598865
  2. Olivier Boss, Stephen R. Farmer, Recruitment of brown adipose tissue as a therapy for obesity-associated diseases, Frontiers in Endocrinology, Feb 2012, doi 10.3389/fendo.2012.00014
  3. Vallerand AL, Jacobs I., Influence of cold exposure on plasma triglyceride clearance in humans, Metabolism, Nov 1990, PMID: 2233284
  4. Jessica A. Preciado, John W. Allison, 59. The effect of cold exposure on adipocytes: Examining a novel method for the non-invasive removal of fat, Cryobiology, volume 57, issue 3, 2008, pages 327, ISSN 00112240, doi 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2008.10.060
  5. B. Zelickson, BM. Egbert, J. Preciado, J. Allison, K. Springer, RW. Rhoades, D. Manstein, Cryolipolysis for noninvasive fat cell destruction: initial results from a pig model., Dermatol Surg, volume 35, issue 10, pages 1462-70, Oct 2009, doi 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2009.01259.x, PMID 19614940
  6. GH. Sasaki, N. Abelev, A. Tevez-Ortiz, Noninvasive selective cryolipolysis and reperfusion recovery for localized natural fat reduction and contouring., Aesthet Surg J, volume 34, issue 3, pages 420-31, Mar 2014, doi 10.1177/1090820X13520320, PMID 24598865
  7. Goo, B., & Kim, D. S. (2016). Impact of Contactless Apoptosis-Inducing RF on Temperature of Human Skin Surface and Subcutane- ous Layer as well as Porcine Histology: A Pilot Study. Medical Lasers, 5(1), 29–33. doi: 10.25289/ml.2016.5.1.29
  8. Walton M, Roestenburg M, Hallwright S, Sutherland JC, (1986). Effects of ice packs on tissue temperatures at various depths before and after quadriceps hematoma: studies using sheep. J Orthop Sports Phys Therapy. 8(6):294-300. 
  9. Prentice, W. E. (2018). Cryotherapy and Thermotherapy. Therapeutic modalities in rehabilitation. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

     

  10. Merrick, Mark & Knight, Kenneth & Ingersoll, Christopher & Potteiger, Jeffrey. (1993). The effects of ice and compression on intramuscular temperature at different depths. Journal of Athletic Training. 28. 236-45.
 
 

 

You can see more scientific research here

 

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