How does Acupuncture regulate Lipid Metabolism in PCOS Women?

Women suffering from PCOS have a higher disposition toward coronary arterial disease (CAD). The prevalence of Metabolic syndrome in PCOS women is as high as 40% with increased prevalence of hypertension, dyslipidemia and abnormal glucose metabolism, all before age 30 (El-Mazny et al, 2010). PCOS women aged 20-40 already demonstrate poor vascular function measured by brachial artery vascular flow (Dokras et al, 2006).

Several studies reported that acupuncture can resolve lipid metabolism in different pathogenic conditions. Women with obesity who under went acupuncture treatment showed a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride serum levels. One suggestion as to how that happens is the increase serum levels of beta-endorphin as a result of the treatment. Other studies suggested that acupuncture modulates cholesterol concentrations by promoting lipid metabolism and suppressing inflammation via modulating mRNA expression.

Ling Li et al (2012) concluded that acupuncture lowers both cholesterol and triglycerides. The laboratory research measured biochemical responses to electro acupuncture at acupoint ST40 (Fenglong) to map the mechanisms by which acupuncture reduces hyperlipidemia. This study documents that electro acupuncture induces expression of nNOS and Mt1. The nNOS enzyme mediates nitric oxide signaling and plays an important role in cellular signaling, vascular tone, blood pressure, insulin secretion, airway tone, angiogenesis and peristalsis. Mt1 plays an important role in the protection against oxidative stress. Based on these, the researchers conclude that electroacupuncture and its effect on nitric oxide signaling transduction can bring down levels of plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and proinflammatory macrophages in cases of hyperlipidemia.


  1. Wang F, Tian DR, Han JS. Electroacupuncture in the treatment of obesity. Neurochem Res. 2008; 33: 2023 – 2027.
  2. Ang Y, Li M, Yan W, Li X, Kang J, Zhang Y. Electroacupuncture alters the expression of genes associated with lipid metabolism and immune reaction in liver of hypercholesterolemia mice. Biotechnol Lett 2007; 29: 1817 – 1824.
  3. Cabioglu MT, Ergene N. Electroacupuncture therapy for weight loss reduces serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels in obese women. Am J Chin Med 2005; 33: 525–533.
  4. Modulated expression of genes associated with NO signal transduction contributes to the cholesterol-lowering effect of electro-acupuncture. Ling Li, Guang-Hong Tan and Yi-Zheng Zhang. Biotechnology letters. 2012, doi: 10.1007/s10529-012-0892-9.