Slimming patches

Basal metabolic rate is controlled to a considerable extent by the thyroid hormone tri-iodothyronine, and iodine deficiency (section 11.15.3.3) results in impaired synthesis of thyroid hormone, a low metabolic rate and hence ready weight gain. Pathological overactivity of the thyroid gland results in increased synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormone, and an increased basal metabolic rate, with weight loss.

The synthesis of thyroid hormone is regulated, and in the absence of thyroid disease provision of additional iodine does not increase hormone secretion except in people who were iodine deficient. Nevertheless, there are people who market various iodine-rich preparations to aid weight loss. Foremost among these are the so-called slimming patches, which contain seaweed extract as a source of iodine which is supposed to be absorbed from a small patch applied to the skin. There is no evidence that such patches have any beneficial effect at all.

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