Q. Wei et al.'s research on obese rats found that tryptophan and serotonin levels were decreased in certain areas of the brains in the obese group as compared to the control. Acupuncture could produce weight reduction by optimizing the serotonin (5-HT) level. Serotonin not only makes people relax and feel good, but also enhances intestinal motility to help discharge toxic materials that could produce food stagnation and internal heat. Internal heat, from a Chinese medical perspective, leads to increased appetite and more craving for food. In Western medicine, if food cannot be properly absorbed and converted into blood sugar to provide energy, it will be stored instead as fat in the body. Then, the person feels hungry all the time and must eat constantly to maintain his or her blood sugar level. It can quickly become a vicious cycle. One way to resolve this problem is to improve digestive function by optimizing serotonin and other hormone levels so that food can be absorbed more efficiently. If people take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, however, they may accumulate too much serotonin in their bodies, which can dramatically increase their intestinal movement, making them so hungry that they eat constantly and gain weight. Balance is the key to achieving optimal health so letting your own body adjust its serotonin level with the help of acupuncture and dietary changes is the best way to lose weight and stay healthy.
© 2009 Chinese Acupuncture and Herbal Medical Center