Reduction of Insulin Sensitivity from Acupuncture in Diabetes and Obesity

By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Acupuncture and Research

Researchers from the Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion at Hubei University of Chinese Medicine in Wuhan China recently conducted an animal acupuncture study to better understand how acupuncture aids diabetes.  As we have seen through clinical usage and other studies acupuncture appears to benefit insulin resistance in diabetic patients.  What we do not yet understand is how this happens.  This team of researchers used electroacupuncture on mice to better understand the metabolic effects on obese and type II diabetes.  

In this study treatment was performed five times a week for eight consecutive weeks.  The effects were far reaching in that they found:

  • Slowed increases in fasting blood glucose
  • Reduced food intake
  • Maintained insulin levels
  • Improved insulin sensitivity (via intraperitoneal insulin tolerance test)
  • Increased expression of Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) in skeletal muscle
  • Induced gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor y coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF1), and acyl-CoA oxidase (ACOX)

Together these results indicate beneficial effects of acupuncture with the biochemical reasoning being at least in part due to stimulation of SIRT1/PCG-1α which improves the insulin signal.

Reduction of Insulin Sensitivity from Acupuncture in Diabetes and Obesity

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Authored by: Chad Dupuis on 2 November 2010

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