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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    CAM Archive: Effect of exercise intensity and belly fat

    If you exercise enough, is it possible to selectively lose abdominal fat?

    No, say researchers at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

    First, the details.

    • 112 overweight and obese postmenopausal women participated.
      • Body mass index: 25-40 kg/m2
      • Waist circumference greater than 88 cm
    • They were assigned to a 20-week program.
      • Calorie restriction (CR only)
      • CR plus moderate-intensity aerobic exercise
      • CR plus vigorous-intensity exercise
    • Diet followed a controlled program of underfeeding during which meals were provided at individual calorie levels (about 400 kcal/day).
    • Exercise (3 days/week) involved treadmill walking at an intensity of 45% to 50% (moderate-intensity) or 70% to 75% (vigorous-intensity) of heart rate reserve.

    And, the results.

    • Average weight loss did not differ across groups.
    • Maximal aerobic exercise capacity (VO2max) increased significantly more with CR + vigorous-intensity vs the other groups.
    • The CR-only group lost significantly more lean mass than either exercise group.
    • All groups showed significant but similar decreases in abdominal fat.
    • Changes in lipids, fasting blood sugar or insulin values were similar among the groups.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “There is not a preferential loss of abdominal fat when either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise is performed during caloric restriction.”

    2/23/09 19:57 JR

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