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Different weight loss drugs and diets are always coming into and out of fashion as different celebrities endorse different programs and plans. If you are looking for a long-term, drug-free solution, acupuncture just might be the perfect fit for you. continue reading
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and DM2 which was first defined by the WHO (World Health Organization) in 1998. “The WHO definition was the first to tie together the key components of insulin resistance, obesity, dyslipidemia and hypertension. The definition mandates that insulin resistance be present; without it, even if all the other criteria were met, the patient would not have metabolic syndrome. The WHO definition also allows patients with T2D to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if they meet the other criteria.” (PMID: 19407331)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five major weight loss medications available for weight management, which are orlistat, phentermine, phentermine/topiramate extended-release, naltrexone/bupropion sustained-release, and liraglutide (PMID: 34815532). All of these drugs are known to have side effects, so patients will ask us what formulas they can take to minimize the consequences of CV and DM2.
Along with counseling someone on dietary and lifestyle changes that they can make to improve their insulin resistance, I would look at what signs and symptoms the patient is presenting with. From there, I could determine which TCM pattern(s) that overall fits the presentation. I also look at recent research to see what would benefit the patient most in regards to formula modifications and/or additional supplementation.
For example, a recent real-world comparative cohort study demonstrated that “Chinese herbal medicine is associated with higher body weight reduction than liraglutide among the obese population” (PMID: 36160410). Berberine, an alkaloid from Huang Lian (Coptidis rhizoma), has been compared in efficacy to metformin (PMID: 29515798) and Ozempic, although the research on this is still pending.
Several studies have shown that Shan Zha (Fr. Crataegus pinnatifida) can have beneficial effects on controlling and treating high blood sugar, dyslipidemia, obesity and atherosclerosis. “Its leaves, fruits and seeds have various active substances such as flavonoids, triterpenic acids and sesquiterpenes, which through different mechanisms can be beneficial in metabolic syndrome.
Flavonoids found in the leaves of hawthorn can significantly reduce atherosclerotic lesion areas, the fruit extracts contain two triterpenic acids (oleanolic acid and ursolic acid), that have the ability to inhibit the acyl-coA-cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) enzyme and as a result reduce very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.” (PMID: 31217924). Chinese hawthorne berries may be used as a single herb tea daily (with contraindications considered), as well as Jiaogulan tea, Gynostemma pentaphyllum. (PMID: 23431428)
Huang P. L. (2009). A comprehensive definition for metabolic syndrome. Disease models & mechanisms, 2(5-6), 231–237. https://doi.org/10.1242/dmm.001180
Müller, T. D., Blüher, M., Tschöp, M. H., & DiMarchi, R. D. (2022). Anti-obesity drug discovery: advances and challenges. Nature reviews. Drug discovery, 21(3), 201–223. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41573-021-00337-8
Liao, Y. N., Chen, H. Y., Yang, C. W., Lee, P. W., Hsu, C. Y., Huang, Y. T., & Yang, T. H. (2022). Chinese herbal medicine is associated with higher body weight reduction than liraglutide among the obese population: A real-world comparative cohort study. Frontiers in pharmacology, 13, 978814. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.978814
Dehghani, S., Mehri, S., & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2019). The effects of Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese hawthorn) on metabolic syndrome: A review. Iranian journal of basic medical sciences, 22(5), 460–468. https://doi.org/10.22038/IJBMS.2019.31964.7678
Huyen, V. T., Phan, D. V., Thang, P., Hoa, N. K., & Ostenson, C. G. (2013). Gynostemma
Fan, Q., Xu, F., Liang, B., & Zou, X. (2021). The Anti-Obesity Effect of Traditional Chinese Medicine on Lipid Metabolism. 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.696603
pentaphyllum Tea Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2013, 765383. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/765383
Most of us have those pesky few pounds that just won’t release their grip on us. We might try the latest diet or exercise trend but that weight just won’t come off. Or maybe you have more than just a little weight to lose. Rather than jump on the latest fad diet that sounds too good to be true, have you thought about trying acupuncture to lose weight? It just might be the ticket to not only losing those extra pounds but also to getting your overall health back on track. continue reading
According to the Centers for Disease Control latest statistics, the national prevalence of obesity is 42.4% and obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, and certain types of cancer are some of the leading causes of preventable and premature death in the United States.
In several studies over the last five years, researchers have shown patients who receive regular acupuncture treatments see faster weight loss results than those who do not. In each case, the acupuncture treatments were combined with dietary and lifestyle changes also aimed at weight loss, illustrating that acupuncture is an effective supplement to weight loss programs. continue reading