Electroacupuncture Lowers Blood Sugars in Rats With Type 2 Diabetes

Electroacupuncture (EA) is from a traditional Chinese therapy that combines traditional needle acupuncture and massage.

In a study published in the February 1999 issue of Diabetologia, several rat models were used to determine the effects of EA when stimulated at the Zhongwan acupoint. This is the area of the abdominal wall associated with the pancreas that contains insulin-sensitive muscle and adipose tissue. EA, when applied at different frequencies to this area, can cause blood sugar levels to fall. BG levels returned to normal after 30 minutes.

Type 1 and 2 rat models were used for the study. After EA stimulation was conducted at the Zhongwan acupoint, type 2 rats demonstrated a 21 percent average decrease in blood sugars. Changes in blood sugar levels for type 1 rats were not significant. When EA stimulation was conducted at a non-acupoint location, type 2 rats did not demonstrate any decrease in blood sugars. The researchers note that EA administered at a frequency of 15 Hz. elicited the most pronounced reduction in blood glucose.

The researchers conclude that EA stimulation at the Zhongwan acupoint could significantly lower blood glucose levels in rats with type 2 diabetes. No human study has been conducted yet.

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