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DCA improves exercise performance in COPD patients

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An infusion of dichloroacetate can improve exercise performance in patients with COPD, a study has shown.

The research, conducted at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, measured exercise performance among 18 COPD patients after an intravenous infusion of dichloroacetate (DCA).

Their performance after infusion with a saline solution was also carried out as a control.

Findings show DCA reduced blood lactate concentration by 20% and blood ammonia by 15% compared with control.

It also improved exercise workload by eight watts on average and increased peak oxygen consumption by 1.2 ml/kg/min compared with control.

Authors write: ‘We have shown that a pharmacological intervention…can reduce blood lactate and ammonia accumulation during exercise and improve maximal exercise performance in COPD subjects.’

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (2008)

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