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

    This blog is 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.

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    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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    Niteworks increases anaerobic threshold in elderly men

    Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, in Los Angeles, California, studied the effects of arginine + antioxidants on exercise performance in older people.

    First, the details.

    • 16 elderly male cyclists were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 3 weeks.
      • A proprietary supplement (Niteworks, Herbalife International Inc.)
      • A placebo powder
    • Exercise parameters were assessed by maximal incremental exercise testing performed on a stationary cycle ergometer using breath-by-breath analysis at the start and weeks 1 and 3.
    • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • In the Niteworks group, anaerobic threshold significantly increased 17% at week 1, and the effect was significantly sustained by week 3.
    • In the placebo group, there was no change in anaerobic threshold.
    • The anaerobic threshold for the Niteworks group was significantly higher vs placebo at week 1 and week 3.
    • There were no significant changes in VO2 max (a measure of aerobic capacity) between placebo and Niteworks groups at either week 1 or 3 when compared to the start of the study.
    • There were no side effects in either group.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “An arginine and antioxidant-containing supplement increased the anaerobic threshold at both week one and week three in elderly cyclists. No effect on VO2 max was observed. This study indicated a potential role of L-arginine and antioxidant supplementation in improving exercise performance in elderly.”

    It’s not stated in the study whether aside from positive changes in anaerobic threshold there were clinically meaningful benefits. Does a 17% change result in better quality of life, greater activities of daily living, etc.?

    More background on arginine and exercise performance is here.

    NOTE: The study, conducted at UCLA and funded by Herbalife, used Herbalife’s original formula Niteworks. The current product has a slightly different formula, although no changes were made to the active ingredients, according to the article published on Medical News Today.

    4/11/10 20:31 JR

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