Approximately one in three adults has high blood pressure (BP) worldwide. Hypertension and its consequences, such as stroke and heart attacks, are enormous public health problems.
In tests on rats, UCI cardiology researcher Zhi-Ling Guo and colleagues noted that reduced blood pressure lasted for at least three days after electroacupuncture by increasing the gene expression of enkephalins, which one of the three major opioid peptides produced by the body.
The UCI study shows that repetitive electroacupuncture evokes a long-lasting action in lowering blood pressure in hypertension.
Last year, the UCI team reported patients treated with acupuncture at certain wrist locations experienced drops in their blood pressure. The present study shows that repetitive electroacupuncture evokes a long-lasting action in lowering blood pressure in hypertension, suggesting that this therapy may be suitable for treating clinical hypertension.
Although the effect of acupuncture on hypertension is controversial acupuncture may offer a non-pharmacological approach to reduce high BP, according to the study. The potential advantages of acupuncture over conventional medical therapy include few, if any, of side effects.
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