Obesity consultants told: Say no to Botox

Obese Americans taking gastric botox injections for their quick fix to lose weight have been told to look elsewhere.

A leading stomach expert’s warning – which goes out to obesity consultants too – follows new research showing that Botox does not aid slimming.

Previously, some consultants agreed with a study that said injecting botulinum toxin A – or Botox – into the belly delayed emptying the bowels, causing the patient to feel full and lose weight.

This prompted Mayo Clinic researchers in Minnesota to enrol 60 overweight patients in a 24-week trial to contrast the effects of Botox to placebo.

They discovered that the injection slowed movement of food through the stomach but did not cause weight reduction.

Dr Mark Topazian, lead author of the study and professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, said he would not recommend gastric Botox injections to slimmers.

He said there were dangers linked with this treatment and there was no benefit in terms of body weight loss. Dr Topazian added: “Unless future studies show different results, I’d advise patients to seek other means of achieving weight loss.”

His study invalidated previous pro-Botox research because the recent study was larger, used ultrasound to ensure injections were properly placed, and limited bias by ensuring that neither physicians nor patients knew who got Botox and who received placebo injections.

The findings were published in this month’s Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal and professional healthcare website of the American Gastroenterological Association.