Acupuncture may help to regulate weight in obese subjects because of its beneficial effects on hormones that influence hunger and satiation. Turkish researchers randomised 40 women with body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 to either an acupuncture group or a sham (non-penetrating) acupuncture group. Both groups received the intervention at bilateral Hegu L.I.-4, Shenmen HE-7, Zusanli ST-36, Neiting ST-44 and Sanyinjio SP-6 during two 20 minute sessions per week, for a total of 10 sessions. Comparing pre- and post-treatment, acupuncture was shown to decrease insulin and leptin levels and induce weight loss, as well as decreasing BMI. Between-group analyses also demonstrated increases in plasma ghrelin and cholecystokinin (CCK) levels in subjects who received acupuncture treatment compared with sham acupuncture. (Influence of acupuncture on leptin, ghrelin, insulin and cholecystokinin in obese women: a randomised, sham-controlled preliminary trial. Acupunct Med. 2012 Sep;30(3):203-7).
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