By Sade Baderinwa
(New York-WABC, March 3, 2005) — Ten years ago doctors
at UCLA made headlines that got the attention of women worldwide,
releasing research that showed an asthma drug could burn off cellulite.
The problem was that the lotion bases at the time slowed the drug from
reaching the fat and were not effective. Now a high tech, pharmaceutical
grade formula is on the market that claims to deliver on the original
promise. Is this the holy grail of weight loss or a big fat lie?
Eyewitness News' Sade Baderinwa reports.
Sherry Lantz is a 52-year-old grandmother. Like many women she is in a
constant struggle with her health and appearance. And like many women she
is sensitive about her thighs and cellulite.
Lantz: "I've exercised for 10 years straight and couldn't get rid of it."
When exercise failed to burn off the cellulite, Sherri found herself lured
into the world of magic fat creams that promised to melt the cellulite
away. But now she claims to have found something that works.
Lantz: "It's smoother on my thighs. I have lost about two inches on each
The cream Sherri is using is sold commercially as Cellulean, but its key
ingredient is a prescription asthma drug call Aminophylline. Scientists at
UCLA's School of Medicine discovered the drug's dual use 10 years ago.
Their findings made headlines worldwide: The promise of a fat burning
cream had arrived. Unfortunately, there was no lotion base that would
maximize the penetration of Aminophylline through skin until recently.
Aminophylline is controlled by the Food and Drug Administration, but a
prescription isn't needed when used topically.
Patrick Leddym President of Cellulean.com: "The FDA looks at the cream,
since it's applied topically, as a non-drug. If it were to be ingested
then it's back to being a drug."
Lantz "Other people have complimented me on my legs and asked me what I'm
doing. They notice the change."
There are caveats when using an Aminophylline-based cream like Cellulean.
Doctors say it is much more effective when used in conjunction with a
healthy diet and moderate physical activity.
The researchers also say that woman starts to see effects within a month,
and that it must be used daily.