We don’t yet understand the mechanisms behind acupuncture and appetite suppression or weight loss, tho some researchers think it is mediated by serotonin and endogenous endorphins.
MT CABÝOGLU et al, Int Jnl Neurosci, Volume 116, 2006 – Issue 2
International Journal of Neuroscience
The present study is an investigation of the results of the studies on the effects of acupuncture application therapy on obesity. It has been reported that acupuncture application in obesity treatment is effective in procuring weight loss. It can affect appetite, intestinal motility, and metabolism, as well as emotional factors such as stress. Increases in neural activity in the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus, in tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach and in levels of enkephalin, beta endorphin, and serotonin in plasma and brain tissue have also been observed with the application of acupuncture. It has been observed that acupuncture application to obese people increases excitability of the satiety center in the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus. Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels. Both of these activities have been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite. Among other things, serotonin enhances intestinal motility. It also controls stress and depression via endorphin and dopamine production. In addition to these effects, it is thought that the increase in plasma levels of beta endorphin after acupuncture application can contribute to the body weight loss in obese people by mobilizing the body energy depots through lipolithic effect.