Acupuncture: is it effective for treatment of insulin resistance?

Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Kanazawa Medical University, Ishikawa, Japan.
Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 5.18). 07/2010; 12(7):555-69. DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2009.01192.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Insulin resistance (IR) is closely associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), non-alcohol fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) and metabolic syndrome and is also a risk factor for serious diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. Pharmacological treatments available for IR are limited by drug adverse effects. Because acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years in China, it has been increasingly used worldwide for IR-related diseases. This review analyses 234 English publications listed on the PubMed database between 1979 and 2009 on the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for IR. These publications provide clinical evidence, although limited, in support of the effectiveness of acupuncture in IR. At this stage, well-designed, evidence-based clinical randomized controlled trial studies are therefore needed to confirm the effects of acupuncture on IR. Numerous experimental studies have demonstrated that acupuncture can correct various metabolic disorders such as hyperglycemia, overweight, hyperphagia, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, altered activity of the sympathetic nervous system and insulin signal defect, all of which contribute to the development of IR. In addition, acupuncture has the potential to improve insulin sensitivity. The evidence has revealed the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of acupuncture, though further investigations are warranted.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Effects of acupuncture stimulation on blood glucose concentration and body weight were investigated in the Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rat, a model for type-2 diabetes. Material and Methods Three groups of rats were used: OLETF, acupuncture-treated OLETF (AcOLETF), and Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats (as control for the OLETF rats). In AcOLETF rats, acupuncture stimulation was applied twice a week to 6 points (zhongwan, tianshu, qihai, ganshu, pishu, shenshu) and changes in blood glucose concentration and body weight were measured. Results Initially, at 6 weeks old, there was no significant difference in blood glucose levels between groups. Blood glucose levels increased with age in each group, reaching a maximum of about 430 mg/dl at 37 weeks in OLETF rats. In AcOLETF rats, blood glucose levels increased at a slower rate than in OLETF rats, reaching a maximum concentration of about 280 mg/dl at 37 weeks of age, significantly lower than that in OLETF rats. The concentration of blood glucose in LETO rats had stabilized at a maximum value of 120~140 mg/dl by 16 weeks, remaining at this level for up to 39 weeks. In each group, body weight increased with age and was not affected by acupuncture treatment. Conclusions In OLETF rats, acupuncture treatment significantly reduced blood glucose levels, but not their body weight, suggesting that acupuncture therapy was effective in preventing the development of type-2 diabetes mellitus.
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) suffer from low quality of life (QOL). We aim to assess the effectiveness of auricular acupressure for QOL improvement in these patients. Materials and Methods. Sixty-two participants were randomly assigned to an auricular or a control arm in a randomized controlled trial. Participants in the auricular arm were instructed to perform auricular acupressure 3-5 times per day for 3 months, when they were receiving conventional treatments. Participants in the control arm received conventional treatments only. The primary outcome was the summarized score of Kidney Disease and Quality of Life Short-Form (KDQOL-SF) at 3 months after randomization. The secondary outcomes included the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Results. The summarized KDQOL differed significantly between the acupressure (76.6, 95% CI, 72.2 to 81.0) and the control group (61.8, 95% CI, 57.7 to 65.9). Similar results were found in the SF-36 scores. HbA1c and eGFR were not found to be significantly different between the arms and neither were the adverse events. Conclusion. Auricular acupressure was well tolerated in diabetic patients with chronic kidney diseases receiving hemodialysis. Future research is needed to confirm these results.
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    ABSTRACT: We overviewed the pathophysiological features of diabetes and its complications in obese type 2 diabetic rat models: Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rat, Wistar fatty rat, Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rat and Spontaneously diabetic Torii (SDT) fatty rat. Pancreatic changes with progression of diabetes were classified into early changes, such as islet hypertrophy and degranulation of β cells, and degenerative changes, such as islet atrophy and fibrosis of islet with infiltration of inflammatory cells. Renal lesions in tubuli and glomeruli were observed, and nodular lesions in glomeruli were notable changes in OLETF and SDT fatty rats. Among retinal changes, folding and thickening were interesting findings in SDT fatty rats. A decrease of motor nerve conduction velocity with progression of diabetes was presented in obese diabetic rats. Other diabetic complications, osteoporosis and sexual dysfunction, were also observed. Observation of bone metabolic abnormalities, including decrease of osteogenesis and bone mineral density, and sexual dysfunction, including hypotestosteronemia and erectile dysfunction, in obese type 2 diabetic rats have been reported.
    Experimental Animals 01/2014; 63(2):121-32. · 1.46 Impact Factor