Acupuncture Could Help Prevent Diabetes, Research Shows By John Anderer for Natural Blaze
Typically used to alleviate pain, acupuncture dates back thousands of years. Incredibly, new research from Australia suggests this ancient medicinal technique may still offer additional unrealized health benefits. Scientists at Edith Cowan University report acupuncture therapy could be a useful tool in preventing Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers focused on individuals classified as “prediabetic” for this study, meaning they displayed higher-than-normal blood glucose levels without actually being high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic. Dozens of earlier projects encompassing over 3,600 subjects with prediabetes were analyzed.
That analysis displayed a clear trend: People who underwent acupuncture therapy saw several key markers associated with diabetes improve. Such markers include fasting plasma glucose, two-hour plasma glucose, and glycated hemoglobin, as well as an overall greater decline in the incidence of prediabetes.
Even better, not a single studied patient reported or exhibited any adverse or negative side effects. PhD candidate and lead researcher Min Zhang believes acupuncture therapy may be a useful tool when it comes to warding off diabetes.
Diabetes is a major modern health concern, estimated to affect roughly 11 percentof the planet’s adult population. Moreover, The International Diabetes Federation calculates close to 1.3 billion people will be either diabetic or prediabetic by 2045.
“Without intervention, 93 per cent of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within 20 years,” Ms. Zhang says in a statement. “But unlike diabetes, prediabetes is reversible with lifestyle interventions such as improved diet and increase in exercise. But many people struggle to adhere to lifestyle changes long-term, so non-pharmacological treatments such as acupuncture could prove valuable.”
Diabetes risk is significantly linked to lifestyle factors and decisions like diet and exercise, but other considerations are also at play. This is where acupuncture may prove helpful, according to researchers. “It’s not only about blood sugar levels,” Ms. Zhang explains. “If you experience sleep problems, high blood pressure, a lot of stress, these can contribute too. So, acupuncture can help with these factors and work holistically to help people balance their life.”