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How Acupuncture Helps Weight Loss
A new study published in Obesity in 2017 explains why electrical stimulation can help people lose weight and improve glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. In this study, Dr. Li et al. used certain foods to create Type II diabetes in rats. They then divided the rats into two groups: one group received intestinal electrical stimulation for 8 weeks. The other group received sham stimulation without electric current. The researchers found that chronic intestinal electrical stimulation (similar to electrical acupuncture on the abdominal acupuncture points) reduced food intake and body weight while decreasing the free fatty acids in the blood of the rats with diet-induced diabetes. Furthermore, rats with electrical stimulation had lowered fasting plasma glucose level, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved glucose tolerance. The mechanism may be related to delayed gastric emptying. This finding explains why we need to eat whole wheat and more vegetables and drink tea instead of coffee. Our stomach will digest whole foods that have more fibers much slower than processed foods, so we feel less hungry. When people take anti-depression medications, their stomach can move so fast that they have to eat every two hours. But the food cannot be digested thoroughly and therefore they can develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies, leading to neuropathy, anxiety, insomnia, and hair loss.
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