Acupuncture: Is it effective for treatment of insulin resistance?

ArticleinDiabetes Obesity and Metabolism 12(7):555-69 · July 2010with262 Reads
Impact Factor: 6.36 · DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2009.01192.x · Source: PubMed

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.

    • "Urgent action is needed now to prevent insulin resistance so as to halt the progression of the comorbidities of insulin resistance-related diseases [19]. Several studies have concluded that acupuncture can improve insulin sensitivity [20], as it is effective against metabolic disturbances such as hyperglycemia [21], being overweight [22], and insulin signal defects [23], which are closely associated with the pathogenesis of insulin resistance [19]. Acupuncture at combined acupoints has been shown to decrease insulin levels in T2DM and hypertension with hyperinsulinemia [24]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Electroacupuncture (EA) has been shown to exert beneficial effects on obesity, but the mechanism is unclear. This study investigated the effects of EA on diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Fifty Sprague-Dawley male rats were randomly divided into low-fat-diet (10 rats, LFD) and high-fat-diet (40 rats, HFD) groups. After the DIO models had been established, successful model rats were randomly divided into HFD, EA, and orlistat (OLST) groups. The EA group received EA at “Zusanli” (ST36) and “Quchi” (LI11) for 20 minutes once per day for 28 days. The OLST group was treated with orlistat by gavage. The body weight, homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), adipocyte diameters, and NPY/AGRP and PTP1B levels were significantly lower in the EA group than in the HFD group. The rats of the OLST group showed watery stools and yellow hairs whereas those of the EA group had regular stools and sleek coats. The effect of EA on weight loss may be related to improved insulin resistance caused by changes in the adipocyte size and by reductions in the expressions of NPY/AGRP and PTP1B. This study indicates that EA may be a better method of alternative therapy for treating obesity and other metabolic diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies
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    • "However, among the groups fed the hypercaloric diet, a significant (p < 0.001) weight loss was observed in groups HDP36 and HDP25, which were treated with acupuncture (Fig. 2). The positive outcomes of body weight loss from using pharmacopuncture found in the present study are in accordance with those obtained with the use of electroacupuncture and acupuncture in points ST 36 and ST 25 by several authors [17, 28, 29, 14, 32, 15, 20, 19, 8, 33, 12]. However, the method of injection in the acupoint had not been described yet for this type of disorder. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Acupuncture has been reported as a weight loss treatment for obese patients. The use of pharmacopuncture focusing on behavioral analyses has not yet been studied with the objective of treating obesity. Thus, this study aimed to assess the biochemical and behavioral effects of using pharmacopuncture techniques in obese Wistar rats. Methods: The treatments consisted in applying pharmacopuncture at the Zusanli (ST 36) and Tianshu (ST 25) points. Results: When treated with pharmacopuncture, groups HDP36 and HDP25 experienced a reduction in body weight compared to the controls, who were also fed a hypercaloric diet. In the alimentary behavior test, latency to feed did not differ between the groups. However, groups HDP36 and HDP25 consumed a smaller number of cereals bits, which suggests that inappetence was an effect of the treatment. No difference was found among the groups in the elevated plus maze test, which indicates no anxiety action of the points studied. Regarding post mortem perirenal and abdominal fat among the groups fed a hypercaloric diet, groups HDP36 and HDP25 had lower perirenal fat weight and HDP36 had lower abdominal fat weight compared to the other groups. Likewise, a reduction in cholesterol 10.1186/s12906-015-0829-7 and glucose levels was found in groups HDP36 and HDP25 compared to the other groups that were fed a hypercaloric diet, while triglycerides decreased in subgroup HDP25 CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the present study showed the efficacy of pharmacopuncture in weight loss of obese rats, as well as changes in biochemical and behavioral parameters.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    • "Insulin resistance (IR) is a complicated condition in which three primary metabolic tissues that are sensitive to insulin, skeletal muscle, liver, and white adipose tissue (WAT) become less sensitive to insulin and its downstream metabolic actions under normal serum glucose concentrations [1]. IR is closely associated with obesity, hypertension, hyperglycaemia, polycystic ovary syndrome, and metabolic syndrome (see glos- sary) [2, 3]. As the key component of metabolic syndrome, IR is also closely associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) [4]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity is now widespread around the world. Obesity-associated chronic low-grade inflammation is responsible for the decrease of insulin sensitivity, which makes obesity a major risk factor for insulin resistance and related diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndromes. The state of low-grade inflammation is caused by overnutrition which leads to lipid accumulation in adipocytes. Obesity might increase the expression of some inflammatory cytokines and activate several signaling pathways, both of which are involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance by interfering with insulin signaling and action. It has been suggested that specific factors and signaling pathways are often correlated with each other; therefore, both of the fluctuation of cytokines and the status of relevant signaling pathways should be considered during studies analyzing inflammation-related insulin resistance. In this paper, we discuss how these factors and signaling pathways contribute to insulin resistance and the therapeutic promise targeting inflammation in insulin resistance based on the latest experimental studies.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · International Journal of Endocrinology
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