Old fashioned vibrating belt machines could improve the health of obese people - even if they don't actually lose any weight
- Daily 15-minute bouts of low-intensity vibration could help immune and bone problems linked with being severely overweight
- Experts hope it could help the obese 'regain health without drugs' - until they lose weight by diet and exercise
Published: 16:32 BST, 30 November 2012 | Updated: 19:30 BST, 30 November 2012
Researchers have found the machines could offer significant clinical benefits for obese people suffering from a wide range of immune problems related
They have until now been seen as 'the lazy option' for those hankering after a slimmer physique, but without the hard work.
But it seems the vibrating machine could really hold the key for overweight people when it comes to improving their health - even if it doesn't mean losing weight.
Tests carried out by New York researchers has shown the machines could offer significant clinical benefits for obese people suffering from a wide range of immune problems related to obesity.
A study published online in The FASEB Journal found that low-intensity vibrations led to improvements in the immune function of overweight mice.
Researchers say if the same effect can be found in people, it could lead to a number of clinical benefits.
Study author, Clinton Rubin, from Stony Brook University, in New York, said: 'This study demonstrates that mechanical signals can help restore an immune system compromised by obesity.'
To make the discovery Rubin led a team which fed a group of adult mice a high fat diet for seven months to make them obese, significantly damaging their immune and skeletal systems.
Part of the group that was subjected to daily 15-minute bouts of low-intensity vibration.
It seems the vibrating machine could really hold the key for overweight people when it comes to better health, even if it does not mean losing weight
The results showed the vibrations boosted levels of disease fighting T-cells and B-cells in the obese mice, which are both vital to the immune system.
The intervention also helped to reverse bone loss, returning the overweight rodents toward the health of the mice that were fed a regular diet.
Gerald Weissmann, of the FASEB Journal, said: 'This solid support for a shaky intervention should get scientists and health care professionals buzzing.
'If it works out in people, low intensity vibration could be a relatively cheap way of helping obese folks regain health without drugs - until they lose weight by diet and exercise.'