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Acupuncture boosts young women

Mon August 31st, 2009

Young women with an unpleasant disease that causes infertility can benefit from acupuncture and exercise, researchers have claimed.

Programmes of acupuncture and exercise both made a difference to the health of women with polycystic ovary syndrome, according to Swedish researchers.

Researchers found that acupuncture improved menstruation regularity and improved hormone balance, according to a report in the American Journal of Physiology.

The condition may cause infertility and also increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

It is said to affect as many as ten per cent of women of child-bearing age.

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, say it is possible the nervous system plays a role.

Their study involved just 20 women, who were divided into three groups. One group received electro-acupuncture, one was told to exercise three times a week and the third group simply received advice on exercise and diet.

Researcher Dr Elisabet Stener-Victorin said: "Those who received acupuncture found that their menstruation became more normal.

"We could also see that their levels of testosterone became significantly lower, and this is an important observation, since elevated testosterone levels are closely connected with the increased activity in the sympathetic nervous system of women."

She explained: "We do not know for certain what causes the condition, despite it being so common. We have seen that women with the syndrome often have high activity in that part of the nervous system that we cannot consciously control, known as the sympathetic nervous system.

"We believe that this may be an important underlying factor in the syndrome."

American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology Aug 2009; 297: R387 - R395.

Tags: Alternative Therapy | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Fitness | Europe | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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