Researchers at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies assessed the effects and safety of acupuncture as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. They reported their findings in an article published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
Acupuncture has been used to treat Type 2 diabetes for 2,000 years.
Clinical evidence for its efficacy is emerging, thanks to numerous animal studies.
However, the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture as diabetes treatment are still relatively unexplored.
To address this, the researchers systematically searched five databases and two clinical registry platforms from inception until August 04, 2018, for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) involving acupuncture or its variants.
They selected studies that compared these treatments with sham acupuncture or no acupuncture controls for Type 2 diabetes.
They considered glycemic control and adverse events as primary outcomes.
The researchers included 21 studies, which involved 1,943 participants, in the final meta-analysis.
Compared with sham acupuncture or no acupuncture + baseline treatments, the combination of acupuncture and baseline treatments was found to reduce fasting blood glucose, blood glucose after two hours and glycated hemoglobin levels.
Acupuncture also improved blood lipid levels and blood pressure control and reduced body weight.
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