Many of us go around in life with more than one chin. To this point, the multichinned have been forced to resort to crude methods such as beards, turtlenecks, and funny hats to distract people. But there’s now a drug just for them. Oh, also, it’s a possible carcinogen.
The FDA just announced approval of Kybella, which will treat “moderate to severe fat below the chin.” The good news is that it’s actually a natural drug, the bile salt deoxycholic acid, something your liver produces anyway. It helps break down fats in your digestive system, so when it’s injected into your neck’s spare tire, it will destroy that fat and harmlessly metabolize into the body.
Well, maaaaaaybe not harmlessly. While deoxycholic acid definitely has its uses in the body, too much of the stuff has been shown to have some pretty nasty results. Essentially, if you eat a lot of fat, your body turns out more of this stuff, and the more of this stuff is in your system, the higher your risk of gastrointestinal cancers.
In fact, in the press release announcing the approval, the FDA noted that “it can also destroy other types of cells, such as skin cells, if it is inadvertently injected into the skin.” They’ve also been repeatedly shown to damage DNA, which, again, is a pretty friendly thing for cancer.
To be fair, it doesn’t look like you’re injecting gallons of this stuff, so the risk is, one hopes, fairly low. Still, it all comes down to the classic question: How much are you willing to risk to look good?