Acupuncture/ pressureObesity

Auricular acupuncture in obese women

There were changes in hormones, but these women won’t being buying a smaller dress size.

First, the details.

  • 45 obese women with body mass index (BMI) greater than 27 kg/m(2) and who had not received any other weight control measures within the last 3 months completed the study
    • A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal for most adults.
  • They were randomly assigned to a treatment twice each week for 6 weeks.
    • Auricular acupuncture
    • Sham auricular acupuncture using placebo needles
  • The women didn’t know their treatment — single-blind.

And, the results.

  • There was no significant difference in percent reduction in body weight, BMI, and waist circumference between groups.
  • After treatment, there was a significant increase in ghrelin levels and decrease in leptin levels in the acupuncture group.
    • Ghrelin is a hormone in the stomach that appears to stimulate appetite.
    • Leptin is a hormone that is thought to suppress appetite and speed metabolism.
  • No side effects were reported.

The bottom line?
Somehow, the authors concluded, “Auricular acupuncture may have potential benefit on obesity-related hormone peptides.”

Apparently, they didn’t see the 800 pound gorilla.

5/19/09 17:18 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.