July 5, 2016 — The FDA has issued a Consumer Update to warn that whole-body cryotherapy poses serious risks and it is not proven to work.
The FDA has not approved any cryotherapy machines and there is no evidence this so-called “treatment” is actually safe or effective.
It is known to pose serious risks, including frostbite, burns, and eye injuries from extreme temperatures. Last year, a woman in Nevada froze to death after apparently dropping her cell phone, reaching down, and passing out due to a lack of oxygen.
The FDA warns that suffocation is more likely when liquid nitrogen is used:
“The addition of nitrogen vapors to a closed room lowers the amount of oxygen in the room and can result in hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, which could lead the user to lose consciousness.”
The treatment involves spending a few minutes inside a freezing tank as liquid nitrogen is released. It exposes the body to temperatures colder than 200ºF for 2-4 minutes. It is primarily used to alleviate muscle soreness.
They are also promoted for a wide variety of illnesses and health problems, such as asthma, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, weight loss, and more.