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Influence of acupuncture on leptin, ghrelin, insulin and cholecystokinin in obese women: a randomised, sham-controlled preliminary trial

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22729015

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Obesity is an energy balance problem caused by overeating. Obesity treatment includes diet, exercise, behaviour treatment, pharmacotherapy and surgery; in addition, acupuncture is also an option.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of acupuncture on weight loss and whether a brief acupuncture treatment of 5 weeks can change circulating levels of leptin, ghrelin, insulin and cholecystokinin (CCK) in obese women.

METHODS:

40 women with a body mass index (BMI)>30 kg/m(2) were equally randomised to either an acupuncture group or a sham (non-penetrating) acupuncture group and received treatment at LI4, HT7, ST36, ST44 and SP6 bilaterally. Both groups had two sessions of 20 min/week for a total of 10 sessions. Serum insulin, leptin, plasma ghrelin and CCK levels were measured by ELISA.

RESULTS:

Acupuncture treatment decreased insulin and leptin levels and induced weight loss, together with a decrease in BMI compared with sham acupuncture. Furthermore, between-group analyses demonstrated increases in plasma ghrelin and CCK levels in subjects who received acupuncture treatment.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that acupuncture may help to regulate weight owing to its beneficial effects on hormones such as insulin, leptin, ghrelin and CCK in obese subjects even after a few weeks of treatment.

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