Electro-acupuncture may improve regulation of blood glucose

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A new study suggests the treatment may be useful for women who are overweight or obese, and are unable to exercise as well as those with PCOS.

Findings from a new study suggest combining acupuncture with an electrical current may be useful in the treatment of insulin resistance.

As part of the study, published in the FASEB Journal , researchers examined changes in blood glucose levels during and after 45 minutes of acupuncture in 42 women (21 overweight/obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and 21 controls). They found blood glucose regulation was improved in both women with and without PCOS after treatment.
Researchers also investigated the mechanism leading to blood glucose uptake in rats and found that electro-acupuncture causing muscle contractions, activates the autonomic nervous system in rats and that the blood glucose-regulating effect was reversed by administering drugs that block the autonomic receptors.

“This study has the potential to gain better quality of life for patients with prediabetes and reduced capacity to regulate blood sugar levels, especially for those who have difficulties performing voluntary exercise,” said study author, Elisabet Stener-Victorin.

“Acupuncture is tried and true, for at least certain symptoms,” added Thoru Pederson, Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. “Here we have a new possibility centred on a disease of massive morbidity.”


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