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Review: Acupuncture can be included in multifactorial interventions for Type 2 diabetes


In this study, Chinese researchers assessed the effects and safety of acupuncture as treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Their results were published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

  • Acupuncture has been used to treat Type 2 diabetes for 2,000 years and clinical evidence of its efficacy is emerging.
  • However, its effectiveness and safety as diabetes treatment are still in question.
  • The researchers systematically searched five databases and two clinical registry platforms from inception until June 2018 for studies on acupuncture.
  • They included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared the efficacy of acupuncture or its variants as complementary treatment for Type 2 diabetes with sham acupuncture or no acupuncture controls.
  • They considered glycemic control and adverse events as primary outcomes.
  • The researchers included 21 RCTs involving a total of 1,943 participants for their meta-analysis.
  • Compared with sham acupuncture or no acupuncture plus baseline treatments, the combination of acupuncture and baseline treatments reduced fasting blood glucose, blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels in diabetic participants.
  • This suggests that acupuncture can help improve blood lipid levels and blood pressure, as well as reduce weight.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that acupuncture is a good complementary treatment for the management of Type 2 diabetes, especially for those with obesity or metabolic disorders.

Journal Reference:

Chen C, Liu J, Sun M, Liu W, Han J, Wang H. ACUPUNCTURE FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. August 2019;36:100–112. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.04.004



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