How does Acupuncture reduce Leptin Resistance in PCOS Women?

PCOS is also associated with insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, which is linked to weight gain. Obesity is associated with increased levels of leptin and low leptin sensitivity. Cabioglu et al showed in 2006 that acupuncture and diet restriction increased peripheral beta-endorphin levels while reducing in serum leptin levels, consistent with a significant loss in weight. Clearly, acupuncture with diet restriction was more effective than the diet restriction alone.

You et al  (2005) discovered that high frequency electroacupuncture produced a significant decrease in plasma leptin in obese rats. Whereas Kim et al applied 100 Hz electroacupuncture to ad libitum-fed normal rats and reported a significant increase in plasma leptin levels. These results suggest that electroacupuncture does have an effect in reducing plasma leptin levels.


  1. Cabioglu MT, Ergene N. Changes in serum leptin and beta endorphin levels with weight loss by electroacupuncture and diet restriction in obesity treatment. Am J Chin Med 2006; 34: 1–11.
  2. You JS, Hung CC. Effect of electroacupuncture on plasma of leptin and insulin in diet-induced obese rats. J Chin Med 2005; 16: 101–109.
  3. Kim SK, Lee G, Shin M et al. The association of serum leptin with the reduction of food intake and body weight during electroacupuncture in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2006; 83: 145 – 149.