Vibrate to Keep Fat Off? Study Weighs In

In Lab Test, Mice Avoid Adding Fat by Standing on a Low-Vibration Platform

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on October 22, 2007
From the WebMD Archives

Oct. 22, 2007 -- Subtle vibrations may help keep body fat in check, a new study shows.

The study isn't about fat-jiggling gizmos peddled on TV or the Internet. Instead, it's about a platform that vibrates so mildly that it's barely noticeable.

The researchers -- who included C.T. Rubin, PhD, of New York's Stony Brook University -- placed mice on the low-vibration platform for 15 minutes, five days a week, for 15 weeks.

For comparison, Rubin's team put other mice on a platform that didn't vibrate.

All of the mice ate the same amount of food. But the mice in the non-vibration group wound up with bigger torsos at the end of the study.

Why would vibrations affect fat? The answer might lie in stem cells in bone marrow.

Certain stem cells in bone marrow can give rise to fat cells. Vibrations may interfere with that process, note Rubin and colleagues, citing further lab tests in mice.

Rubin founded and consults for Juvent Medical Inc., which is developing health products based on the vibration technology.

Rubin and two of his fellow researchers have submitted a provisional patent for the vibration technology.

The study appears in this week's early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Show Sources

SOURCES: Rubin, C. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, week of Oct. 22-26, 2007; online early edition. News release, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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