The effects of wet cupping on coronary risk factors in patients with metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial

Am J Chin Med. 2012;40(2):269-77. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X12500218.


High serum cholesterol is an important risk factor for cardiovascular events. It has been reported that regular blood donation is associated with a reduction in serum cholesterol. This study aimed to determine the effects of wet cupping on lipid profiles and anthropometric characteristics of patients with metabolic syndrome. One hundred and thirty-six patients aged 18-65 years with metabolic syndrome were recruited to participate in this trial. Ten patients were excluded due to exclusion criteria. Patients (n = 126) were randomly assigned into the control (n = 63) and experimental (n = 63) groups. Patients in the experimental group were treated with wet cupping combined with dietary advice. The controls were given dietary advice only. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were assessed at baseline and at six and 12 weeks after treatment. The significance of the data was analyzed using a repeated measure ANOVA. The lipid profile status did not differ significantly between the two groups (p > 0.05) whereas there was a significant difference between the two time points within each group (p < 0.05). In addition, several anthropometric parameters improved in both groups, but this did not differ significantly between subject groups. Wet cupping does not have a significant effect on anthropometric or biochemical indices compared to the effect of dietary advice alone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / metabolism
  • Coronary Disease / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol