Posts tagged: health impact

Clinical Trial Finds Acupuncture Benefits Weight Control By Suppressing Appetite

Clinical Trial Finds Acupuncture Benefits Weight Control By Suppressing Appetite
Image © (under license)

Historically, acupuncture has been used in ancient Chinese medicine to treat a variety of health conditions. Focusing the flow of energy in the body called “qi”, acupuncture focuses on how the insertion of needles in various parts of the body can promote wellness. Despite being used in China for centuries, it was only in 1997 that acupuncture was acknowledged by the National Institutes of Health as form of therapy. Today, there are over 40 accredited acupuncture schools in the United States, with most states requiring acupuncturists to pass state exams to become licensed. [1][2]

Acupuncture And Digestion

If acupuncture works by improving energy flow through the body to manage health and wellness, how can it help you lose weight? From September 2015 to October 2016, researchers from the School of Chinese Medicine of Hong Kong Baptiste University conducted a trial over eight weeks with 72 participants. There were 13 males and 59 females who were part of the study, all of whom had a BMI of 25 or higher but had not actively been taking any weight control medication or measures in the pass three months. Half of the number of participants were part of the control group who did not receive acupuncture and half went the experimental group, who did. [3]

Acupuncture was then applied to the abdomen and lower extremities over eight weeks. There were 16 sessions in total over these eight weeks. By stimulating the abdomen and lower extremities, “qi” was able to flow well through the gastrointestinal tract, which promotes better digestion and could also positively affect your appetite and contribute to weight loss.

After the treatment period, the experimental group had an average weight loss of 2.47 kilograms or a reduction of 1.56 in their BMI. The control group had an average weight loss of 0.54 kg or a 0.19 drop in BMI. The researchers believe that acupuncture was able to stimulate specific hormones in the body like serotonin and beta endorphin; these two hormones suppress appetite and promotes lipolysis (or burning of fat cells). Through this, weight loss through acupuncture was certainly possible and warrants further research to find out if the data can be applied to the general public. [3]

The researchers also suggest adjusting your diet along with acupuncture sessions to help combat obesity. Apples, walnuts, oatmeal, quinoa, flaxseeds and chia seeds are some foods that help suppress your appetite naturally while high fiber fruits and veggies can help improve digestion. A combination of a healthy diet with acupuncture can help your lose weight faster.

Other Health Benefits Of Acupuncture

– Acupuncture can do a lot more than help you lose weight. Different studies have also focused on the health benefits of acupuncture, primarily on how it can help manage pain. A recent publication in 2019 found that acupuncture was able to improve the symptoms of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy without any harmful side effects. [4]

– Acupuncture is not only good for physical ailments, it can also help with mental health as well. In 2015, a study was conducted that involved over 1000 participants in various randomized clinical trials. The participants suffered from depressive disorders and were taking SSRIs, a kind of antidepressant medication. After the meta-analysis, the researchers found that acupuncture in combination with SSRIs was better at managing depression than SSRIs alone. [5]

– Yin, et. al. in 2017 found that after eight weeks of treatment, acupuncture was able to improve sleep quality in people suffering from insomnia. Treatment was done three times over four weeks with an additional two then four weeks of follow up. Results showed that acupuncture was able to reduce sleep awakenings and self-reported anxiety. [6]

Acupuncture Contraindications

While acupuncture is generally safe, there certain risks that come with any sort of procedure. If you have any of the following, consult your physician before having acupuncture done. [2]

1. Bleeding disorders – If you have a bleeding or clotting problem (or if you are taking blood thinners), you may be susceptible to bleeding or bruising from the acupuncture needles. While needle insertion and removal typically don’t create wounds, they may if you are suffering from a bleeding condition.

2. Pacemakers – Some forms of acupuncture involve the use of (mild) electric pulses to the needles, so if you have a pacemaker or similar gadget in your body, you’re better off avoiding this kind of procedure since the electricity can cause problems with the gadget’s operation.

3. Pregnancy – Acupuncture can also stimulate labor when done on certain parts of the body so avoid this procedure if you are pregnant or think you may be.


[1] Wang, C. (2016). A Look Back at the History of Acupuncture.

[2] Mayo Clinic. Acupuncture.

[3] Hong Kong Baptiste University. SCM clinical trial proves effectiveness of acupuncture for weight control.

[4] Baviera, A., et. al. (2019). Acupuncture in adults with Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: a systematic review.

[5] Chan, Y., et. al. (2015). The benefit of combined acupuncture and antidepressant medication for depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

[6] Yin, X., et. al. (2017). Efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatment on primary insomnia: a randomized controlled trial.

Colon Cancer Deaths Rise Among Younger Adults, And No One Knows Why

Colon Cancer Deaths Rise Among Younger Adults, And No One Knows Why
Image © (under license)

Are you younger than 50? Has the thought of colorectal cancer crossed your mind? Well, probably not. Most colon cancer diagnoses occur after the age of 50 – the recommended screening age. But based on recent findings, the risk of colorectal (colon and rectum) cancer is steadily increasing among younger adults. In particular, a 2017 study [1] published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) discovered that the colorectal cancer mortality rates among young adults have been escalating since the mid-90s. Even worse, the reason for this trend is not clear.

Colon Cancer Statistics

According to American Cancer Society [2], colorectal is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States among men and women. The condition is expected to cause over 51,000 deaths in 2019, with nearly 150,000 new cases diagnosed. As one of the most lethal forms of cancer, the increased risk among young adults is a cause for concern.

The study [1] by researchers affiliated with the American Cancer Society looked at the colorectal cancer diagnoses and deaths among adults (20-54 years) in the United States between 1970 and 2014. Their findings showed that the mortality rates dropped by 2% annually from 1970 until 2004, before increasing at an average of 1% every year annually between 2004 and 2014. Even more perplexing, the death rate increased in white people and decreased in black people – despite exposure to similar risk factors.

Although the exact reasons behind the worrying statistics are not clear, experts speculate that dietary supplements, smoking, alcohol, obesity, and other lifestyle factors might play a part. Another concern among medical practitioners is the late diagnosis of colorectal cancer among young adults. While the survival rate is 90% when diagnosed at an early stage, the thought of regular screening doesn’t often cross the minds of younger people.

Most victims only seek medical attention when they experience symptoms such as persistent abdominal cramping or rectal bleeding – and at that point, the cancer is at a later stage. Due to this trend – among other reasons – the American Cancer Society updated its screening guidelines [3] by lowering the recommended age to 45 years, rather than 50 years.

Tips To Lower The Risk Of Colon Cancer

Regardless of your age group, there are a few simple measures you can take to minimize the risk of colorectal cancer.

• Medical checkups to identify the irregularities such as abnormal levels of hemoglobin and iron deficiency, which can be signs of colon cancer

• Regular exercise – According to an article4 in the British Journal of Cancer, regular physical activity reduces the risk of colon cancer by up to 24%

• Drink water frequently

• Eat a healthy diet, paying attention to foods rich s in fiber such as lentils, broccoli, and whole grains


[1] Siegel, R. L., Miller, K. D., & Jemal, A. (2017). Colorectal cancer mortality rates in adults aged 20 to 54 years in the United States, 1970-2014. Jama, 318(6), 572-574.

[2] ACS. (2019). Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer. Retrieved 14 November 2019, from

[3] ACS. (2019). American Cancer Society Guideline for Colorectal Cancer Screening. Retrieved 14 November 2019, from

[4] Wolin, K. Y., Yan, Y., Colditz, G. A., & Lee, I. M. (2009). Physical activity and colon cancer prevention: a meta-analysis. British journal of cancer, 100(4), 611.

Cutting Sugar Consumption For Just Two Weeks Found To Improve Dramatically The Health Of Children

Cutting Sugar Consumption For Just Two Weeks Found To Improve Dramatically The Health Of Children
Cutting Sugar Consumption For Just Two Weeks Found To Improve Dramatically The Health Of Children. Graphic © Image © (under license)

According to data from the World Health Organization, obesity affects hundreds of millions all over the world. By 2016, over 1,900,000,000 adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. This is a huge proportion of the global population! Of the nearly 2 billion overweight adults, 650 million were in the more seriously overweight category known as “obese”. Consider the alarming statistic that these numbers are triple what they used to be in 1975; that means the risk for various health conditions like heart disease, metabolic dysfunction, and even cancer. But a growing problem is how obesity affects children. With this generation’s children being raised on fast food and sugary snacks, over 340 million children worldwide were either obese or overweight by 2016. [1]

Childhood Obesity Facts

For an adult, being obese means opening yourself up to an increased risk for serious health problems. People who are overweight or obese can develop hypertension and diabetes. Childhood obesity more or less leads to the same consequences – hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. The American Diabetes Association reports that close to 200,000 Americans under the age of 20 years old are diagnosed diabetics. This number goes up to 1.25 million adults and children who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes. This type of diabetes is insulin-dependent and happens because the pancreas produce little to no insulin at all; type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed during childhood. Type 2, which is more common, is typically caused by an unhealthy diet and bad lifestyle choices. [2][3]

Sugar Reduction And Health

One of the best ways to combat childhood illness is to manage your child’s diet. If you have a child of your own or care for a child, you know that getting them to eat healthy is a battle. Not only is it difficult to add vegetables and fruits to their meals, but getting them to hand over the processed snacks is another problem. A recent study published in 2017 in The Journal of American Osteopathic Association urges parents to be stricter with their children’s diet. They found that after only 9 days of removing processed sugar from children’s diets was able to improve glucose and lipid metabolism and reduce fat synthesis in the liver. This meant a decreased risk for obesity, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes after the entire two-week period of diet restriction. [4]

In the 2017 study, the researchers involved obese children of Latin and African American descent and subjected them to nine days of fructose restriction and the substitution of complex carbohydrates with other alternatives. The results showed improvements in fasting glucose blood levels, glucose tolerance, lipid profile levels. After examining the children after 9 days of diet restrictions, the researchers also found a decrease in liver fat concentration. [4]

Though the term sounds a bit scary, diet restrictions merely mean replacing your child’s unhealthy food choices with healthier alternatives. Bad sugars like glucose and fructose from prepackaged meals and snacks should be avoided completely. Your child’s favorite juice or cookie is likely the source of these kinds of sugars. Don’t try to buy your child’s compliance by giving in to their tantrums and giving them processed junk food. Remember, you are responsible for your child’s health and your choice affects just how healthy they will be in the future.

Try to offer your child fresh fruit and vegetables as a snack instead. You can add flavor by using all-natural herbs and spices, or even natural sweeteners like honey. Instead of buying frozen dinners and meals that you just pop in the microwave or fry up in a pan, spend an extra 30 minutes to an hour preparing your child a healthy meal. Since you will be cooking meals instead of microwaving them, you will also be adjusting your own diet and improving your health as well.


[1] World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight.

[2] American Diabetes Association. Statistics About Diabetes.

[3] Mayo Clinic. Childhood obesity.

[4] Schwarz, J., Clearfield, M. & Mulligan, K. (2017). Conversion of Sugar to Fat: Is Hepatic de Novo Lipogenesis Leading to Metabolic Syndrome and Associated Chronic Diseases?