Acupuncture Lowers Blood Uric Acid Levels

Five Transporting Points

Five Element Acupuncture is a particular type of acupuncture concentrating on point selection based on the so-called Five Transporting Points.  The theory is that there are twelve paired meridians – each named after an organ – and that there are points on each meridian that represents one of the five elements of classic Chinese philosophy.  Five points each on twelve meridians totals sixty.

The Five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.  Organs are assigned an element.  For example, Heart is Fire, Lungs are Metal, etc.

There is also a cycle relationship.  Wood “feeds” Fire, which tonifies Earth, and so on.

Therefore, a wood point may be used to enhance the Heart.  I have previously blogged on this topic (Scientific Proof of Five Transporting Points Selection in Acupuncture)

Helping the Kidneys

I have also previously blogged about research that shows that acupuncture can help with Kidney function.  (Acupuncture Helps Renal Function in Chronic Kidney Disease)

Chronic Kidney Disease: Can Acupuncture Help?

Chronic Kidney Disease: Can Acupuncture Help?

Acupuncture Lowers Blood Uric Acid Levels

Now, in this entry, I would like to present an article that combines both principles.  The title is “Acupuncture of the Five Shu Acupoints in spleen meridian to lower blood uric acid level” and it was published in 2014.

The methods used are quoted from the abstract as follows

A total of 32 patients with primary hyperuricemia were enrolled in this study. They were allowed to have free access to diets. The initial treatment for the concomitant diseases (but not including the therapy that might affect uric acid metabolism) was kept unchanged. The observation was formally initiated at 8:00 am on day 1. Acupuncture was not performed within the 48 hours, and only the 24-hour urine volume was recorded. The urine uric acid concentration and urinary creatinine concentration were measured from 25 to 48 hours. On the 46th hour, venous blood samples were collected to detect blood uric acid and creatinine concentrations. After the 48th hour, the patients received acupuncture of the Five Shu Acupoints in spleen meridian each morning. Once Qi was encountered, retain the needle for 30 min. The acupuncture was performed once daily for ten consecutive days. The 24-hour urine volume was recorded daily, and the fasting indicators were detected on the morning of the 11th day.

Results:

After the acupuncture, the blood uric acid level significantly decreased in patients with increased production (overproduction) of uric acid, decreased excretion (underexcretion) of uric acid, and mixed type (all P<0.01). In the underexcretion type, the urine uric acid concentration significantly increased after the treatment (P<0.01). After the acupuncture, the fraction excretion of uric acid (FEUA) significantly increased in the underexcretion type and mixed type (P<0.01) and decreased in the overproduction type (P<0.01). After the acupuncture, the serum uric acid concentration decreased by 16.32-18.29% whereas the 24-hour urine volume increased by 24.22-29.32%

Commentary:

What I find interesting in this article is that the Five Element principle of tonifying or reducing was NOT actually used.  Instead, what the authors did was to needle ALL FIVE of the transporting points of the Spleen.  Strictly speaking this isn’t Five Element acupuncture, but acupuncture meant to strengthen the Spleen.  In Chinese Medicine the Spleen is in charge of Transformation and Transportation.  Hence, it should help with the metabolic processes of transforming wastes and transporting fluids.

The conclusion is as follows:

Acupuncture of the Five Shu Acupoints in spleen meridian can lower the blood uric acid levels by promoting uric acid excretion the and increasing urine volume.

“Acupuncture of the Five Shu Acupoints in spleen meridian to lower blood uric acid level.”
Sun BG, Meng J, Xiang T, Chen ZX, Zhang SJ. Ann Palliat Med. 2014 Jan;3(1):22-7. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2224-5820.2014.01.04.

Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue

Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue MD, CAc, CMA,is one of the leading experts in Traditional Medicine and Chinese Medicine in the Philippines. Currently, he is a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and is Director of Acupuncture Services at The Medical City.
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