Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
21(4):229-36 MARCH 2015 Source: PubMed
Andreia Noites, Rita Nunes, Ana Isabel Gouveia, José Mesquita Bastos
Polytechnic Institute of Porto,
To analyze the short- and long-term effects of microcurrent used with
aerobic exercise on abdominal fat (visceral and subcutaneous).
Forty-two female students from a university population were randomly
assigned into five group: intervention group (IG) 1 (n=9), IG2 (n=9), IG3
(n=7), IG4 (n=8), and placebo group (PG) (n=9). An intervention program
of 10 sessions encompassing microcurrent and aerobic exercise
(performed with a cycloergometer) was applied in all groups, with slightly
differences between them. In IG1 and IG2, microcurrent with
transcutaneous electrodes was applied, with different frequency values;
30-minute exercise on the cycloergometer was subsequently performed.
IG3 used the same protocol as IG1 but with different electrodes
(percutaneous), while in IG4 the microcurrent was applied simultaneously
with the cycloergometer exercise. Finally, the PG used the IG1 protocol
but with the microcurrent device switched off. All groups were evaluated
through ultrasound and abdominal perimeter measurement for visceral
and subcutaneous abdominal fat assessment; through calipers for
skinfolds measurement; through bioimpedance to evaluate weight, fat
mass percentage, and muscular mass; and through blood analyses to
measure cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels.
After intervention sessions, visceral fat decreased significantly in IG1
compared with the PG. Subcutaneous fat was reduced significantly in all
groups compared with the PG. After 4 weeks, almost all results were
Conclusion: The addition of microcurrent to aerobic exercise may reduce
fat more than does aerobic exercise alone.