A team of Japanese researchers has demonstrated that acupuncture can reduce skeletal muscle loss and improve heatlth in elderly and medical patients. Acupuncture shows promise as a future non-drug treatment for muscle atrophy.
Skeletal muscle mass loss has a profound effect on the ability of the elderly and the sick to participate in physcial activity. Lack of physical activity leads to more muscle mass loss and overall weakness and debility.
The team showed that expression of muscle-mass atrophy specific protein altrogin-1 was significantly reversed by acupuncture.
“Our results have uncovered one molecular mechanism responsible for the efficacy of acupuncture treatment and clarified its usefulness in preventing skeletal muscle atrophy in mice,” researcher Aikko Onda said. “We hope to introduce acupuncture as a new strategy for preventing skeletal muscle atrophy in the future.”