New research concludes that acupuncture lowers both cholesterol and triglycerides. Researchers applied electroacupuncture to acupoint ST40 (Fenglong, Abundant Bulge). ST40 is located on the lower leg, halfway between the tibio-femoral joint line and the lateral malleolus at a distance of two finger breadths lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia. According to traditional Chinese medicine principles, this is a Luo-Connecting point of the Stomach channel that transforms phlegm and dampness, alleviates coughing, invigorates the channel to reduce pain, and clears phlegm from the Heart and Lungs.
The research, conducted on laboratory mice, measured biochemical responses to electroacupuncture at acupoint ST40 to map the mechanisms by which acupuncture reduces hyperlipidemia. The study discovered that electroacupuncture induces expression of nNOS and Mt1. NNOS is an enzyme that mediates nitric oxide signaling, which plays an important role in cellular signaling, vascular tone and blood pressure, insulin secretion, airway tone, angiogenesis and peristalsis. Mt1 plays an important role in the protection against oxidative stress. Based on these findings, the researchers conclude that electroacupuncture and its affect on nitric oxide signaling transduction is physiologically related to its cholesterol and triglyceride lowering effects.
BIOTECHNOLOGY LETTERS. 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s10529-012-0892-9. 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.