The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    One-legged exercise for COPD

    Researchers from West Park Healthcare Centre Toronto in Ontario ask, is there any benefit from one-legged exercise, at half the load of two-legged exercise in people with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD)?

    First, the details.

    • 18 patients with COPD were randomly assigned to 2 groups.
    • Both trained on a stationary cycle for 30 minutes, 3 days/week, for 7 weeks.
      • Two-legged trainers cycled continuously for 30 minutes.
      • One-legged trainers switched legs after 15 minutes.
    • Intensity was set at the highest tolerated and increased with training.

    And, the results.

    • Both groups increased their training intensity and total work significantly.
    • After training, the changes in peak oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen intake, and ventilation in the one-legged group was significantly greater compared to the two-legged group.

    The bottom line?
    The researchers concluded, “Reducing the total metabolic demand by using one-legged training improved aerobic capacity compared with conventional two-legged training in patients with stable COPD.”

    The authors also tell us that one-legged cycling required no special training. Patients found it at least as comfortable as two-legged training, probably because leg fatigue is better tolerated than difficulty breathing.

    Also, it was possible to combined one-legged training with other strategies to improve exercise tolerance, such as supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilatory assistance, or heliox (combined helium and oxygen breathing).

    8/7/08 18:52 JR

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