Dr Zhong Lidan explains that the trial provides preliminary evidence of the efficacy and safety of acupuncture on weight control in Hong Kong


鍾麗丹博士解釋,研究結果為針灸控制體重在香港的應用提供了初步療效和安全性的證據

SCM clinical trial offers initial testimony to the effectiveness of acupuncture for controlling the weight of adults


中醫藥學院臨床研究初步證明針灸有助控制成年人體重

Date: 03 Jul 2017 (Monday)

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SCM clinical trial proves effectiveness of acupuncture for weight control

中醫藥學院初步臨床研究顯示針灸有助控制體重

The School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) recently completed a clinical trial on the use of acupuncture for weight control. After an eight-week treatment, the participants’ average body weight decreased by 2.47 kg, with a weight loss of 7.2 kg for the most successful participant, whose Body Mass Index (BMI) dropped by 3.2 kg/m2. The trial was initial testimony to the effectiveness of acupuncture for controlling the weight of adults.

In cooperation with the Hospital Authority, the School conducted the trial from September 2015 to October 2016 on 72 participants, comprising 13 males and 59 females aged between 18 and 68. The participants had a BMI of 25 or above but none of them had taken any other weight control measures or any medication three months prior to the trial.

The participants were randomly assigned to two groups for the controlled trial: the “real acupuncture group” and the “sham acupuncture group”. Each participant underwent a total of 16 sessions of acupuncture treatment over eight weeks. The acupoints on the abdomen include Tianshu, Dahen, Daimai, Qihai, and Zhongwan while those on the lower limbs are Zusanli, Fenlong, and Sanyinjiao. The participants also received auricular acupressure by putting Semen Vaccariae (Wang Bu Liu Xing) embedded within adhesive tape on auricular points of Hunger, Shen men, Spleen and Stomach. According to the Chinese medicine perspective, these acupoints can restore and harmonise the flow of energy in the intestines as well as transform body fluid and expel phlegm.

After undergoing acupuncture treatment, the “real acupuncture group” delivered a decrease of 2.47 kg in average weight and a drop of 1.56 kg/m2 in average BMI. The most successful case recorded weight loss of 7.2 kg with a drop of 3.2 kg/m2 in BMI. The “sham acupuncture group” had an average weight loss of 0.54 kg with an average lowering of 0.19 kg/m2 in BMI.

Director of the HKBU Hong Kong Chinese Medicine Study Centre and Clinical Division of SCM Professor Bian Zhaoxing is the research team’s principal investigator. Other research members included Lecturer of the Clinical Division Dr Yang Junjun, Associate Professor of the Teaching and Research Division Dr Zhang Shiping, and Research Assistant Professor of the Clinical Division Dr Zhong Lidan.

Dr Zhong said that acupuncture has a stimulating effect. The mechanism of acupuncture may be that the stimulation to the serotonin and beta endorphin will suppress appetite and increase lipolysis activity, resulting in weight loss. She explained that this trial provides preliminary evidence of the efficacy and safety of acupuncture on weight control in Hong Kong. It also offers a research basis for future large sample clinical trials and a guideline for developing acupuncture to counter obesity.

中醫藥學院最近完成一項針灸控制體重的臨床研究,參加者經過八星期治療後,體重平均下降了2.47公斤,最顯著的個案減少達7.2公斤,體重指標 (BMI) 也降低了3.2kg/m2。這項臨床研究初步證明針灸有助控制成年人體重。

學院早前與醫院管理局合作,於2015年9月至2016年10月進行臨床研究,共有72人參加,包括13男、59女,年齡介乎18至 68歲,他們的BMI達25或以上,參加臨床研究前三個月未曾接受控制體重的干預及用藥。

參加者隨機分為「真針組」及「假針組」兩個治療組別作對照研究,各人在八星期內進行共16次針灸治療,針灸穴位包括位於腹部的天樞、大橫、帶脈、氣海及中脘,以及位於小腿的足三里、豐隆及三陰交等穴位;另外也進行耳穴治療,選取耳部針對飢點、神門、脾、胃等耳穴,敷貼中藥「王不留行」。中醫認為這些針灸穴位有疏調腸腑、利水滲濕等功效。

經過針灸治療後,「真針組」的體重平均減少了2.47公斤,BMI也平均下降了1.56 kg/m2。最成功的個案體重減幅達7.2公斤,BMI降低了3.2 kg/m2。「假針組」的體重則只平均降低0.54公斤,BMI平均下降0.19 kg/m2

研究團隊包括項目總負責人浸大香港中醫藥臨床研究中心暨中醫藥學院臨床部主任卞兆祥教授,以及成員中醫藥學院臨床部講師楊君軍博士、教學科研部副教授張世平博士和臨床部研究助理教授鍾麗丹博士。

鍾博士說針灸有刺激的作用,它的機理可能是通過5-羥胺及β內啡肽(中樞神級系統和血漿),產生抑制食慾和增加脂質溶解的作用,從而令體重下降。她指出,研究結果為針灸控制體重在香港的應用提供了初步療效和安全性的證據,同時並為未來進行大規模臨床研究和制定針灸治療肥胖臨床實踐指南奠定了基礎。鍾博士建議日後進行的大規模研究可考慮加入中醫證候標準。