Last updated on February 2018

Acupuncture or Metformin for Insulin Resistance in Women With PCOS

Brief description of study

The hypothesis is that acupuncture is equally effective as metformin (both treatments combined with lifestyle management) in improving whole body glucose homeostasis in insulin resistant women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and that both are superior to lifestyle management alone. The investigators hypothesize that acupuncture and metformin induce ovulation and improve hyperandrogenism, as well as health related quality of life (HRQoL) and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Although equally effective (acupuncture and metformin), the investigators hypothesize that acupuncture is associated with less negative side-effects. The investigators also hypothesize that these treatments have the potential to restore epigenetic and molecular alterations in target tissues (endometrial-, adipose-, and skeletal muscle tissue) and thus have the potential to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Detailed Study Description

Specific Aims The purpose of the study is to perform a randomized controlled trial of women with PCOS, comparing the effectiveness of lifestyle management alone, and in combination with acupuncture or metformin treatment on whole body glucose homeostasis, with the ultimate goal to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Primary aim

  1. To determine the clinical effectiveness of 4 months of 1) electroacupuncture + lifestyle management and 2) metformin + lifestyle management, compared to 3) lifestyle management only, for improvement of insulin sensitivity as measured by HOMA-IR, by the insulin response to glucose assessed by calculating the area under the curve (AUCinsulin) during the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), and by glucose regulation (assessed by analyzing Hba1c levels).

Secondary aims

  1. To evaluate changes in secondary metabolic measures, including fasting insulin, c-peptide, glucose, and adipokines, calculation of HOMA-B (i.e. the Islet -cell function) and the c-peptide index, assessment of the adipokines and lipid profile, body size and proportions and body fat distribution.
  2. To determine changes in genome-wide gene expression and DNA methylation profiles related to insulin sensitivity in fat, muscle and endometrial tissue biopsies, and biomarkers in whole blood.
  3. To evaluate endocrine measures including menstrual pattern and ovulation frequency, circulating hormones (sex steroids, AMH, gonadotropins), and excretion of metabolites of sex steroids in urine.
  4. To determine changes in women's HRQoL, symptoms of anxiety and depression, dieting and eating patterns, and negative side-effects.
  5. To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the different treatments.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02647827

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

Start Over

Jie Qiao, Professor

Peking University
Beijing, China
  Connect »

Elisabet Stener-Victorin, PhD

Karolinska University Hospital
Stockholm, Sweden
  Connect »