Lots of positive news for how acupuncture helps Type 2 Diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and more...
1) Systematic review of studies of acupuncture for treating obesity. Analysed pooled results from 31 studies involving 3013 cases. Concludes that acupuncture is an effective treatment for obesity.
1) Randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for peripheral diabetic neuropathy. 90 patients were treated with either wrist-ankle acupuncture, whole-body acupuncture, or conventional medical treatment. Both acupuncture groups experienced significantly better results than the conventional medical/control group. Acupuncture was also observed to improve blood sugar and lipid metabolism, and restore the functions of peripheral nerve cells
2) Randomized controlled trial of acupuncture investigating the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) combined with diet on body weight and levels of serum insulin, c-peptide and glucose in obese women. Found that (compared with sham EA+diet), EA+diet was effective in treating obesity and that EA decreased serum glucose levels by increasing serum insulin and c-peptide levels.
3) Observational study of acupuncture for peripheral diabetic neuropathy. 46 patients were treated with classical acupuncture over a period of 10 weeks and followed up for up to one year. 77% showed significant improvement in their symptoms with 7 reporting complete elimination of symptoms. 67% of patients who used medications at the start of the study were able to stop or reduce their medications significantly during the follow-up period.
1) Experimental study of the effects of acupuncture on the autonomic nervous system in healthy volunteers. Found that acupuncture inhibited activity of the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the 'fight or flight' stress response).
2) Randomized controlled trial studying the effects of acupuncture on local blood circulation. 20 volunteers underwent a session each of real and sham acupuncture in a single hand and forearm with a 1-wk interval between treatments. Concentration of nitric oxide (NO - a vasodilator) in the plasma from the acupunctured arm was significantly increased. Blood flow in the hand of the acupunctured arm also increased. No changes were observed with sham. Concluded that acupuncture increases the NO level in treated regions and thereby increases local circulation.
3) Study on St 36 acupuncture point: Experimental study of the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on blood glucose and insulin levels in diabetic rats. Found that EA had hypoglycaemic activity and improved glucose tolerance.
4) Randomized controlled trial of acupuncture investigating the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on serum lipid profile in obese women. Found that decreased total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels by increasing the serum beta endorphin level. Concluded that the lipolytic effect of EA may also reduce the morbidity of obesity by mobilizing the energy stores that result in weight reduction.
5) Experimental study investigating the the hypoglycemic response to electroacupuncture (EA) in rats. Concludes that EA causes an increase in beta-endorphin production by the adrenal gland, which enhances the secretion of insulin, thereby reducing plasma glucose levels.
From the British Acupuncture Council