Gout is a chronic disease caused by disturbances in metabolism of uric acid and leading to creation of deposits of uric acid crystals inside the joins, tendons and tissues, what results in inflammatory state and pain. Depending on aetiology the gout is divided in primary (connected mainly with underexcretion of uric acid by kidneys) and secondary (related to overproduction of uric acid as a result of other diseases). Unfortunately, pharmacological treatment is mostly symptomatic, moreover it causes serious adverse effects, so the patients look for other methods of treatment, including acupuncture.
Most clinical trial focuses on the influence of acupuncture on pain related with gout, and there are not so many experiments researching true influence of this method on uric acid level.
The review and metaanalysis of existing clinical trials concerning the usage of acupuncture in the treatment of gouty arthritis was recently published in Rheumatology(source)1. Ten randomised clinical trials were included with 852 patients. Six of those trials showed significant reduction of uric acid level caused by acupuncture, in two trials there was no statistical significance, for of those trials showed also significant pain reduction. The Authors concluded that acupuncture is an effective method of treatment of gouty arthritis.
Two extremely interesting animal experiments, using metabolomics analysis method, provide insight into molecular mechanisms of action of acupuncture in case of gout.
Both experiments, the one published in 2011(source)2 and the other described one year later(source)3, proved that acupuncture balances and repairs metabolic networks destroyed by experimentally evoked gout.
“Acupuncture is an effective treatment of arthritis related with gout”
1 Lee WB1, Woo SH, Min BI, Cho SH. „Acupuncture for gouty arthritis: a concise report of a systematic and meta-analysis approach.” Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013 Jul;52(7):1225-32. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ket013. Epub 2013 Feb 18.
2 Wen SL, Liu YJ, Yin HL, Zhang L, Xiao J, Zhu HY, Xue JT, Ye LM. „Effect of acupuncture on rats with acute gouty arthritis inflammation: a metabonomic method for profiling of both urine and plasma metabolic perturbation” Am J Chin Med. 2011;39(2):287-300.
3 Chen Y, Wu LP, Liu YJ, Deng PC, Yin HL, Wen SL, Chen C, Ye LM „Urinary Study on the Biochemical Effect of Acupuncture on Monosodium Urate Crystals-Induced Acute Gouty Arthritis in Rats using 600MHz 1H NMR” J Bioequiv Availab 2012, 4:7 http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/jbb.1000122