Acupuncture in the treatment of obesity: a narrative review of the literature

Belivani, Maria; Dimitroula, Charikleia; Katsiki, Niki; Apostolopoulou, Martha; Cummings, Mike; Hatzitolios, Apostolos I.
March 2013
Acupuncture in Medicine;Mar2013, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p88
Academic Journal
Obesity is one of the leading health risk factors worldwide and is associated with several other risk factors and health problems including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and malignancies. Current conventional therapeutic strategies for obesity cannot achieve adequate weight control in all patients, so complementary types of treatment are also performed. Acupuncture, one of the oldest healing practices, represents the most rapidly growing complementary therapy which is recognised by both the National Institutes of Health and the WHO. A previous review concluded that acupuncture was superior to lifestyle advice, to sham acupuncture and to conventional medication. In this narrative review, the possible mechanisms of actions and the results of recent experimental and clinical studies with different forms of acupuncture (eg, body, auricular, manual and electroacupuncture) are presented. In particular, the effects of acupuncture on anorexigenic and orexigenic peptides, insulin resistance, lipid metabolism and inflammatory markers are discussed. Both experimental and clinical current data suggest that acupuncture exerts beneficial effects on the mechanisms of obesity. Some data suggest that electroacupuncture may be more effective than manual acupuncture; however, the most effective frequency remains controversial. Combination of different forms of acupuncture with diet and exercise seems to be necessary for achieving and maintaining weight loss. Further prospective clinical trials are needed to establish the effectiveness of this complementary method for obesity treatment.


Related Articles

  • Long term maintenance of weight loss with non-surgical interventions in obese adults: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials. Dombrowski, S. U.; Knittle, K.; Avenell, A.; Araújo-Soares, V.; Sniehotta, F. F. // BMJ: British Medical Journal;5/17/2014, Vol. 348 Issue 7958, p14 

    The article discusses a study on evidence for the effectiveness of non-surgical weight interventions for weight loss maintenance. Topics addressed include the benefits of behavioral interventions covering diet and physical activity, weight loss maintenance through administration of the...

  • Current Studies of Acupuncture in Cancer-Induced Bone Pain Animal Models. Hee Kyoung Ryu; Yong-Hyeon Baek; Yeon-Cheol Park; Byung-Kwan Seo // Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (eCAM);2014, Vol. 2014, p1 

    Acupuncture is generally accepted as a safe and harmless treatment option for alleviating pain. To explore the pain mechanism, numerous animal models have been developed to simulate specific human pain conditions, including cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP). In this study, we analyzed the current...

  • PATERNAL INFLUENCES ON CHILDREN'S WEIGHT GAIN: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW. Fraser, Josephine; Skouteris, Helen; Mccabe, Marita; Ricciardelli, Lina A.; Milgrom, Jeannette; Baur, Louise A. // Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research & Practice about Men as;Fall2011, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p252 

    Childhood overweight and obesity rates have continued to rise globally, reaching epidemic proportions. Children's dietary patterns evolve within the context of the family and there are a number of pathways through which parents may shape children's dietary practices, including parent nutritional...

  • The effects of aerobic physical activity on adiposity in school-aged children and youth: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Laframboise, Michelle A.; deGraauw, Chris // Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association;Dec2011, Vol. 55 Issue 4, p256 

    Context: The role of aerobic physical activity as a standalone treatment in decreasing adiposity in school-aged children and youth has not been well established. Objective: To systematically search and assess the quality of the literature on the efficacy of aerobic physical activity to decrease...

  • Acupoint Catgut Embedding for Obesity: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Guo, Taipin; Ren, Yulan; Kou, Jun; Shi, Jing; Tianxiao, Sun; Liang, Fanrong // Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (eCAM);8/31/2015, Vol. 2015, p1 

    Acupoint catgut embedding (ACE) was applied widely to antiweight in China. The aim of this review is to estimate the effectiveness and safety of ACE on obesity. A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Cochrane Library, EBASE, CNKI, and so forth, using combination subject terms of obesity...

  • Impact of Physical Activity Interventions on Anthropometric Outcomes: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Conn, Vicki; Hafdahl, Adam; Phillips, Lorraine; Ruppar, Todd; Chase, Jo-Ana // Journal of Primary Prevention;Aug2014, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p203 

    Considerable research has tested physical activity (PA) interventions to prevent and treat overweight and obesity. This comprehensive meta-analysis synthesized the anthropometric effects of supervised exercise interventions and motivational interventions to increase PA. Eligible intervention...

  • Retirement and a healthy lifestyle: opportunity or pitfall? A narrative review of the literature. Zantinge, Else M.; van den Berg, Matthijs; Smit, Henriëtte A.; Picavet, H. Susan J. // European Journal of Public Health;Jun2014, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p433 

    Background: Retirement is a life-course transition in late adult life that is marked by major changes that may affect healthy lifestyles. Our aim is to give an overview of the current knowledge on changes in smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and dietary habits during the transition...

  • Comparison of Clinical Performance of Zirconia Implants and Titanium Implants in Animal Models: A Systematic Review. Manzano, Guillermo; Herrero, Rubén; Montero, Javier // International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants;2014, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p311 

    Purpose: This study aimed to compare the values of removal torque (RT) and bone-implant contact (BIC) reported in different animal studies for zirconia and titanium implants. Materials and Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed to analyze BIC and RT of animal studies in...

  • Dissemination Bias in Systematic Reviews of Animal Research: A Systematic Review. Mueller, Katharina F.; Briel, Matthias; Strech, Daniel; Meerpohl, Joerg J.; Lang, Britta; Motschall, Edith; Gloy, Viktoria; Lamontagne, Francois; Bassler, Dirk // PLoS ONE;Dec2014, Vol. 9 Issue 12, p1 

    Background: Systematic reviews of preclinical studies, in vivo animal experiments in particular, can influence clinical research and thus even clinical care. Dissemination bias, selective dissemination of positive or significant results, is one of the major threats to validity in systematic...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics