Points - Recent Research
Acupuncture Methods for Allergic Rhinitis
Acupuncture Inhibits Neuroinflammation and Gut Microbial Dysbiosis in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease
The Anti-Diabetic Activity of Licorice, a Widely Used Chinese Herb

Acupuncture Methods for Allergic Rhinitis

Zihan Yin, et al.

Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common symptomatic, inflammatory, and immunological disorder of nasal mucosa. Multiple clinical trials and systematic reviews have implicated acupuncture methods as potentially effective treatment strategies for AR, however, considering the great burden of AR, it is crucial to explore the most recent clinical evidence supporting acupuncture in AR. Besides, the methodologies reported in previous studies as well as those commonly applied during clinical practices greatly vary. Herein, we conducted network meta-analysis to compare the effectiveness of diverse acupuncture methods for AR treatment.
Methods: We conducted a literature search for relevant reports published from inception to 1 July 2020 in several scientific databases, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library, Web of Science, CNKI, WF, VIP, CBM, AMED as well as related registration platforms. Primary outcomes as reported in the identified studies were assessed using nasal symptoms. All Meta-analyses were performed with RevMan, ADDIS, and STATA software. To ensure consistency among our reviewers, the intra-class correlation coefficient was used.
Results: Exactly 39 studies with 3433 participants were covered in this meta-analysis. The meta-analysis demonstrated that all acupuncture types were superior to sham acupuncture in terms of total nasal symptom score and rhinoconjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire. Moxibustion was recommended as the most effective intervention as it reduced nasal symptoms in 6 treatments. On the other hand, manual acupuncture plus conventional medicine was recommended as the most effective intervention in improving the quality of life in 9 treatments. Notably, moxibustion was recommended as the most effective intervention that changed the content of IgE in 9 treatments. Moreover, adverse events of these interventions were acceptable.
Conclusion: Our findings revealed that all acupuncture methods are effective and safe for AR. Moreover, either moxibustion or manual acupuncture plus conventional medicine are potentially the most effective treatment strategies for AR. Based on these findings, it is evident that acupuncture therapy is not inferior to pharmacologic therapy. Therefore, for AR patients who are either unresponsive to conventional medicine or are intolerant to adverse events, acupuncture therapy should be administered. However, the quality of these included trials was mainly ranked as moderate quality, we recommend additional well-designed RCTs with larger sample sizes to validate these findings.

Chin Med. 2020 Oct 12;15:109. doi: 10.1186/s13020-020-00389-9. eCollection 2020.

Source: PubMed


Acupuncture Inhibits Neuroinflammation and Gut Microbial Dysbiosis in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease

Jae-Hwan Jang, et al.

Growing evidences show that gut microbiota is associated with the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and the gut-brain axis can be promising target for the development of the therapeutic strategies for PD. Acupuncture has been used to improve brain functions and inflammation in neurological disorders such as PD, and to recover the gastrointestinal dysfunctions in various gastrointestinal disorders. Thus, we investigated whether acupuncture could improve Parkinsonism and gut microbial dysbiosis induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. First, we observed that acupuncture treatment at acupoints GB34 and ST36 could improve motor functions and comorbid anxiety in PD mice. Next, we found that acupuncture increased the levels of dopaminergic fibers and neurons in the striatum and the substantia nigra, respectively. Acupuncture also restored the overexpression of microglia and astrocyte as well as conversion of Bax and Bcl-2 expression in both the striatum and the substantia nigra, indicating that inflammatory responses and apoptosis were blocked by acupuncture. Additionally, via 16S rRNA sequence analysis, we observed that the relative abundance of 18 genera were changed in acupuncture-treated mice compared to the PD mice. Of them, Butyricimonas, Holdemania, Frisingicoccus, Gracilibacter, Phocea, and Aestuariispira showed significant correlations with anxiety as well as motor functions. Furthermore, the predicted functional analyses showed that acupuncture restored the physiology functions such as glutathione metabolism, methane metabolism, and PD pathway. In conclusion, we suggest that the effects of acupuncture on the enhanced motor function and the protection of the dopaminergic neurons may be associated with the regulation of the gut microbial dysbiosis and thus the inhibition of the neuroinflammation in the PD mice.

Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Oct;89:641-655. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.08.015. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Source: PubMed


The Anti-Diabetic Activity of Licorice, a Widely Used Chinese Herb

Lin Yang, et al.

Ethnopharmacological relevance: A great deal of valuable experience has been accumulated in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system for the treatment of "Xiaoke" disease which is known as diabetes mellitus now. As the most-commonly used Chinese herb, licorice has been used in TCM for more than two thousand years. It is often used in combination with other herbs to treat metabolic disorders, especially diabetes mellitus.
Aim of the study: To summarize the characteristics, mechanisms, and clinical use of licorice and its active components for treating diabetes mellitus.
Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, Research Gate, Science Direct, Google Scholar, and Academic Journals were used as information sources by the inclusion of the search terms 'diabetes', 'licorice', 'licorice extracts', 'flavonoids', 'triterpenoids', and their combinations, mainly from 2005 to 2019.
Results: Licorice extracts, five flavonoids and three triterpenoids isolated from licorice possess great antidiabetic activities in vivo and in vitro. This was done by several mechanisms such as increasing the appetency and sensitivity of insulin receptor site to insulin, enhancing the use of glucose in different tissues and organs, clearing away the free radicals and resist peroxidation, correcting the metabolic disorder of lipid and protein, and improving microcirculation in the body. Multiple signaling pathways, including the PI3K/Akt, AMPK, AGE-RAGE, MAPK, NF-кB, and NLRP3 signaling pathways, are targets of the licorice compounds.
Conclusion: Licorice and its metabolites have a great therapeutic potential for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. However, a better understanding of their pharmacological mechanisms is needed for evaluating its efficacy and safety.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Dec 5;263:113216. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113216.

Source: PubMed


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