Electroacupuncture for Blood Sugar Regulation
Combining acupuncture with an electrical current may benefit overweight women who are unable to exercise and those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Recent research by an international team has suggested that the use of acupuncture combined with an electrical current can provide an answer for obese or overweight women who are not able to exercise but need blood sugar regulation. Another group that should benefit are women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is women's most common hormonal disorder. It is not only associated with prediabetes but also with the increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Electric stimulation of needles which are placed in adipose and muscle tissue provides stimulation of muscle contraction and activation of adipose tissue metabolism.
Using obese and overweight women both with and without PCOS, the scientists measured changes in blood sugar levels during and after 45 minutes of their receiving acupuncture. Blood glucose regulation showed improvement in both sets of participants.
The researchers also observed a group of rats in order to investigate what mechanism led to blood glucose uptake. Their findings were that the electroacupuncture causing muscle contractions activated the autonomic nervous system and that the regulating effect of the blood glucose showed a reversal when drugs were administered to block the autonomic receptors.
Study author Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Ph.D., associate professor at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Metabolism and Reproductive Endocrinology of Stockholm, Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, advised that this study has important clinical implications and shows a potential to gain a better quality of life for prediabetes patients who have reduced capacity to regulate their blood sugar levels. That is especially true for those who have numerous difficulties when trying to perform voluntary exercise.
Click here to read how electroacupuncture may markedly lower blood pressure.
Anna Benrick, Milana Kokosar, Min Hu, Martin Larsson, Manuel Maliqueo, Rodrigo Rodrigues Marcondes, Marzia Soligo, Virginia Protto, Elisabet Jerlhag, Antonina Sazonova, Carl Johan Behre, Kurt Højlund, Peter Thorén, and Elisabet Stener-Victorin. Autonomic nervous system activation mediates the increase in whole-body glucose uptake in response to electroacupuncture. FASEB J. doi:10.1096/fj.201601381R