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Electro-acupuncture for central obesity: a patient-assessor blinded, randomized sham-controlled clinical trial


Central obesity is considered as a significant health threat to individuals. Scientific research has demonstrated that intra-abdominal fat accumulation is associated with higher metabolic and cardiovascular disease risks independent of Body Mass Index (BMI). This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of electro-acupuncture in treating central obesity compared with sham acupuncture.

This was a patient-assessor blinded, randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial. One hundred sixty eight participants aged between 18 and 65 years old with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 and waist circumference (WC) of men ≥ 90 cm / women ≥ 80 cm were enrolled and allocated to the acupuncture or sham acupuncture group equally. For the acupuncture group, disposable acupuncture needles were inserted into eight body acupoints, including Tianshu (ST-25), Daheng (SP-15), Daimai (GB-26), Qihai (CV-6), Zhongwan (CV-12), Zusanli (ST-36), Fenglong (ST-40), and Sanyinjiao (SP-6) with electrical stimulation. For the control group, Streitberger’s non-invasive acupuncture needles were utilized at the same acupoints with identical stimulation modalities. The treatment duration was 8 weeks with 2 sessions per week and the follow-up period was 8 weeks. The primary outcome was the change in WC before and after the treatment. The secondary outcomes were the changes in hip circumference, waist-to-hip circumference ratio, BMI, and body fat percentage during the treatment and follow-up period

The acupuncture group displayed a significant change in WC compared to the sham group both treatment and follow-up period (MD = -1.1 cm, 95% CI = -2.8 to 4.1). Significant change in body fat percentage was recorded for both groups after treatment but no significance was observed during the follow-up period (MD = -0.1%, 95% CI = -1.9 to 2.2). The changes in hip circumference were also significant both treatment and follow-up period for the acupuncture group (MD = -2.0 cm, 95% CI = -3.7 to -1.7). Compared with sham acupuncture, the body weight (MD = -1 kg, 95% CI = -3.3 to 5.3), BMI (MD = -0.5, 95% CI = -0.7 to 1.9) also decreased significantly within and between groups. The incidence of adverse events was similar in the two groups.

This study provided evidence that electro-acupuncture could be effective in treating central obesity by reducing WC, hip circumference, body weight, BMI, and waist-to-hip circumference ratio.

Autoren: Tsz Fung Lam, Zipann Lyu, Xingyao Wu, Yi Ping Wong, Peihua Cao, Emily Yen Wong, Hunng Bun Hunng, Shiping Zhang, Zhaoxang Bian, Linda LD Zhong

Journal: BMC Complement Med Ther. 2024; 24: 62.  Published online 2024 Jan 29. doi: 10.1186/s12906-024-04340-5

Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10823622/

Häufigste Punkte: Zusanli ST36, Sanyinjiao SP6, Tianshu ST25, Fenglong ST40, Zhongwan CV12, Qihai CV6, Daheng SP15, Daimai GB26  Eine genaue Angabe der einzelnen Punkte mit Lokalisationen und Indikationen findet sich in der Publikation in Tabelle 1.

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