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I read the recent report on effect of acupuncture on salivary immunoglobulin A by Matsubara et al with a great interest.1 Matsubara et al concluded that ‘Acupuncture treatment may attenuate the decrease in SIgA level induced by intense exercise.’1 Indeed, there are some previous similar reports on this topic. Akimoto et al recently found that ‘Exercise-induced decrease of salivary SIgA and increase of salivary cortisol were inhibited by acupuncture.’2 However, there are some concerns on the use of acupuncture in athletes in this report. First, there is no data on the background of the subjects. Whether the change is the normal physiological response in the subjects is questionable. Second, there is no information on quality control of laboratory determination for SIgA. The observed decreasing might be an error due to laboratory process. Finally, the complete study on the effect of acupuncture on all physiological aspects is needed. Whether the acupuncture induces the change of steroid composition in human body is still questionable. Whether acupuncture can be a doping also requires clarification.
Note We sent a copy of this letter to the last known email address of the author of the original article, but have so far received no reply. Adrian White, Editor of Acupuncture in Medicine.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.