Visit gym or take a pill? drug mimics exercise

Visit gym or take a pill? drug mimics exercise

Science gets a lethargic cheer from lazy people around the world this week, as a study published in Nature magazine reveals that we may one day be able to take a compound that produces similar effects in the body as exercise.

The study comes from researchers at the Scripps Institute in Jupiter, FL, who injected overweight mice with a compound they created. As reported in the New York Times, the results show that the researchers' compound increased activation of Rev-erb, a protein involved in controlling circadian rhythms and biological clocks. As such, the mice lost weight and improved their cholesterol, even while continuing to eat a high-fat diet.

What's more, the mice used more oxygen during the day and 5% more energy than the control group. The interesting thing to note here is that the treated mice did not exercise any more than the untreated mice. In some cases, the Times report says, the treated mice were lazier and more inactive than they were before the injections.

How the compound works

Though researchers from Scripps Institute created a compound that mimics exercise, they still say many benefits of exercising cannot be recreated in a drug.

In muscles, regular exercise increases the amount and power of mitochondria, which are the powerhouses that generate most of the cell's energy.

When the researchers injected their compound into various muscle cells in the mice, those cells then released an increased amount of Rev-erb. As a result, those cells created new mitochondria and strengthened the existing ones.

Thomas Burris, co-author of the study, said that the drug "certainly seems to act as an exercise mimic," and reportedly said that the drug might be able to allow people who are disabled or incapacitated to attain benefits of exercise without actually physically doing it.

But is taking a pill for exercise really recommended?

The results of the study will prompt several discussions about the ethical, as well as the physical, implications of using a pill to achieve exercise results. For example, would it become a banned doping drug used by professional athletes?

Thomas Burris says that he has been warned by other scientists "to expect some weird phone calls." But he says his main goal is to help people who are unable to exercise rather than those who choose not to.

Burris also notes that there are many benefits to exercising that cannot all be recreated in a drug.

Recent studies have shown that exercise can have an effect at the DNA level against fat cells, as well as help the brain become more resilient.

In short, if you are able to exercise, you probably should.

Replace Exercise With A Pill!? (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

Section Issues On Medicine: Medical practice