Japanese mint weight-loss patches have become a popular option for people who are eager to find a relatively easy way to shed a few pounds. However, while it's understandable why simply slapping a patch on your body would be an attractive option, they may not be effective, according to experts.
Parade recently took a look at the patches that claim to use Japanese mint as an active ingredient, noting that the plant that's also known as mentha canadensis comes from both North America and Asia. According to WebMD, it's actually the oil in the mint that's extracted and used for various conditions, including gas, indigestion, and gallstones, as well as for common colds, fever, and joint pain.
When it comes to using Japanese mint in weight-loss patches, Parade explains that they're "intended to absorb transdermally" which "allows the active ingredients (in this case, the Japanese mint) to go directly into the skin without going through your digestive system."
But the question is: Is it effective as a weight-loss method?
"Mint has some amazing benefits. One of these is its ability to stimulate digestive enzymes and boost metabolism and a faster metabolism can help with weight loss," Clara Lawson, RDN, who works with USA Hemp, tells Eat This, Not That!
However, when it comes to the patches, Lawson explained, "If you aren't bringing any healthy change into your diet and lifestyle, you aren't going to lose weight with these patches."
Lawson also notes that there is "no evidence in regards to their effectiveness and they aren't even regulated by the FDA, so they are not a legitimate weight-loss method."
That's certainly not the only potential problem with these patches. "Ultimately, my issue isn't with the mint; it's with the carrier they use (herbs are bound with a chemical that drives into the skin),"Haylie Pomroy, a top Hollywood nutritionist and founder of the Haylie Pomroy Group, who was one of the experts that spoke to Parade, warned in a statement provided to Eat This, Not That!
"It can be scary because some companies use the same carriers as fentanyl patches. Look at who is making it and where it's manufactured. Ninety-nine percent of these companies aren't disclosing their carrier."
Pomroy adds: "The only benefit we've seen through research with transdermal applications like these are for B vitamin transdermal or sex hormones, like testosterone or estrogen patches. Again, the issue is the carrier with all of these other patches."
To find out more about healthy ways to get the most out of mint, be sure to read 10 Surprising Things Mint Does to Your Body. Then, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter for more of the latest health and food news!