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Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(4):525-33.

Electroacupuncture therapy for weight loss reduces serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels in obese women.

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Cabioglu Acupuncture Treatment Clinic, Selçuklu 42040, Konya, Turkey.


Our purpose in this study was to investigate the effect of acupuncture therapy on body weight and on levels of the serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in obese women. Fifty-five women were studied in three groups as follows: (1) control group (n = 12; mean age = 43.3 +/- 4.3, and mean body mass index {BMI} = 32.2 +/- 3.4); (2) electroacupuncture (EA) (n = 22; mean age = 39.8 +/- 5.3, and BMI = 34.8 +/- 3.3); and (3) diet restriction (n = 21; mean age = 42.7 +/- 3.9, and BMI = 34.9 +/- 3.3). EA was performed using the ear points, Sanjiao (Hungry) and Shen Men (Stomach), and the body points, LI 4, LI 11, St 25, St 36, St 44 and Liv 3, once daily, for 30 minutes, for 20 days, whereas patients on diet restriction had a 1425 Kcal diet program, that consisted of 1425 Kcal daily for 20 days. There was a 4.8% weight reduction in patients with EA application, whereas patients on diet restriction had a 2.5% weight reduction. There were significant decreases in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in EA and diet groups compared with the control group (p < 0.05 in both cases). Furthermore, there was a decrease in LDL levels in the EA group compared with the control group (p < 0.05). No significant changes could be found in HDL levels among the three groups. Our results suggest that EA application in obese women may decrease the serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels by increasing the serum beta endorphin level. This lipolytic effect of EA may also reduce the morbidity of obesity by mobilizing the energy stores that result in weight reduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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