New ‘exercise pill’ could replace your need to workout

You know those days when you just can’t face doing a workout, and wish you could just binge-watch Succession instead? Well, a new ‘exercise pill’ could soon make that possible, replacing some – but not all – of the benefits of exercise, according to a new study.

A team of scientists have created new compounds that can mimic the physical boost of a workout, which could form the ingredients of a future supplement. Specifically, the scientists hope to replicate the power of exercise to enhance metabolism and growth – plus improve muscle performance.

“We cannot replace exercise; exercise is important on all levels,” said Bahaa Elgendy, the study’s principal investigator. “But there are so many cases in which a substitute is needed.”

Elgendy’s team have created new compounds that can mimic the physical boost of a workout, which could form the ingredients of a future ‘exercise pill’. Specifically, the scientists hope to replicate the power of exercise to enhance metabolism and growth – plus improve muscle performance.


undefined


The team, from the Washington University School of Medicine, USA, presented their findings at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Rather than helping you with your fitness goals, the researchers hope an exercise pill could help to treat medical conditions like heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases (like dementia), and muscle atrophy.

This could help people who are unable to exercise, including the elderly and people whose muscles have become weaker due to cancer. The scientists also say that it could counter the loss of muscle caused by weight-loss drugs.

But, sadly for some, the exercise pill is not just around the corner – as the substitute has only seen success in rodent cells so far.

So how does it work? The team spent 10 years designing a compound which activates specialised proteins known as oestrogen-related receptors (a type of hormone receptor) in the body. These proteins regulate the impacts of exercise in our muscles.

The scientists increased the strength of the cells’ response by comparing the impacts of different compounds in the rodents’ RNA.

When tested on mice, the team found that the compound increased a type of muscle fibre that’s fatigue-resistant. Afterwards, the rodents’ endurance when running on a treadmill improved.

But to bring an exercise pill to humans, much more testing is required: the next step for the scientists will be testing the compounds in other animals.

Read more:

link