Now take a pill for the benefits of exercise

Researchers are working on a new "exercise pill" that could be holding promise for a day when non-exercisers would be able to enjoy a better mood and health without working out.

"If you reprogram the genetics, you can acquire that level of fitness without having to expend a lot of energy", said Ronald Evans, an author of the study and a molecular and developmental biologist at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.

The study found a way to mimic the beneficial effects of exercise in mice, which resulted in increased fat burning and stamina, all without the critters moving a single muscle. But human trials of drugs that increase PPARD are a likely reality in the near future, the Salk researchers said.

The compound called GW1516, or simply GW, has been around for the past 20 years, according to scientists, who say it has been used illegally by some athletes to improve their performance. In particular, the mice developed long-distance running skills, tended to burn more fat, and were more responsive to insulin.


The scientists presented their findings May 2 in the journal Cell Metabolism, in an article entitled "PPARδ Promotes Running Endurance by Preserving Glucose". Working off this information, the researchers identified exactly how the drug brought this about - through how it affected almost 1,000 genes. It also provided them with an alternative to exercise for individuals with coronary heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, pulmonary disease, and any other medical constraints that have stopped them from exercising.

If you live a sedentary life, you may be resigned to doing without the benefits of aerobic exercise.

Such a drug would benefit the infirm and disabled who can't exercise, said Ron Evans, a study leader. They key is a gene called PPAR delta (PPARD). Mice that went without the drug lasted only 160 minutes before reaching their physical limit. The rodents also demonstrated resistance to weight gain, as well as a higher response to insulin, which are both indicators of physical fitness. They discovered that when mice were genetically engineered so their PPARD genes were permanently turned on, they could run for long distances without getting exhausted, they were resistant to weight gain and they were responsive to insulin.

For the study, the team conducted a series of tests with mice on treadmills. For both groups, exhaustion set in when blood sugar (glucose) dropped to around 70 mg/dl, suggesting that low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) are responsible for fatigue, the release states.


'It means you can improve endurance to the equivalent level as someone in training, without all of the physical effort'.

"Exercise activates PPARD, but we're showing that you can do the same thing without mechanical training", said lead author Weiwei Fan, a Salk research associate. The scientists believe that directing the body to burn fat as an energy source for the muscles may be the genes' way of preserving sugar for the brain. Presuming these same effects would translate over to people, the researchers noted, that suggests PPARD tells our muscles to avoid using glucose for the sake of keeping our brain fueled.

In a none too subtle pitch to drug developers, the team says that their work has attracted some active interest on the part of biopharma companies intrigued by the notion that a drug like this could be a major help to the obese, diabetics and people weakened by surgery.



Popular
  • Rangers' Hamels scratched with tightness in right oblique

    Rangers' Hamels scratched with tightness in right oblique

    Hamels retreated to the clubhouse to receive treatment, and will return to Arlington on Wednesday for additional evaluation. Hamels has a career 8.6 K/9 mark, but is sitting at a putrid 4.1 through one month, while his velocity is also down.

    Teacher to return to Tennessee to face charges

    The images showed Cummins had altered his hair to appear darker and the girl's hair may have changed to red. The remote, mountainous area has limited cellphone service and the terrain is hard to traverse.

    Trump backs away from demand for border wall money

    Trump has raised the possibility of allowing the cost-sharing subsidy to expire by the end of this year. We're at "the point you need to decide if you have the time to get all the paperwork all together".
  • US Congressional Party Leaders Agree on Budget for Current Fiscal Year

    US Congressional Party Leaders Agree on Budget for Current Fiscal Year

    The bill provides $593 billion for defense, giving a almost $20 billion boost over fiscal 2016 funding, aides said. It also includes a permanent fix to fund coal miners' health care instead of a temporary extension.
    Beating Spurs in FA Cup has no bearing on league, says Conte

    Beating Spurs in FA Cup has no bearing on league, says Conte

    With 78 points from 33 matches, Chelsea now lead second placed Tottenham with 7 points, but Pochettino's men have a game in hand. But midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg says the calibre of the opposition means they will have no trouble motivating themselves.
    Scott Walker praises Donald Trump's 'aggressive action' in US-Canada dairy dispute

    Scott Walker praises Donald Trump's 'aggressive action' in US-Canada dairy dispute

    Trudeau's comments come a day after the U.S. announced duties of up to 24 per cent on softwood timber entering from Canada. Canada's Carr rejected any suggestion that Canada was not playing by the rules.
  • Nick Cannon Loses Childhood Friend During Sunday's Shooting In San Diego

    Nick Cannon Loses Childhood Friend During Sunday's Shooting In San Diego

    Griffin also said that "Ki" was the first person shot and he was hit three times - twice in one leg and once in the other. Police shot and killed a 49-year-old man suspected of shooting seven people Sunday at a birthday pool pa.
    Sanders urges party to go beyond comfort zone

    Sanders urges party to go beyond comfort zone

    That's a "right." And Bernie Sanders is expected to apologize for campaigning for a candidate who's not stoked enough about it. On Monday, Sanders kicked off the red-state tour with Perez, who narrowly defeated Sanders' preferred choice for the job, Rep.

    Corning Earnings: All-Around Performance Beats Expectations

    Shares for $506,515 were sold by ROGUS MARK S. $193,803 worth of Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) was sold by Ferrero Lisa. Dodge & Cox purchased a new position in shares of Corning during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $759,279,000.
  • Spicer: White House 'looking into' libel laws

    Spicer: White House 'looking into' libel laws

    President Donald Trump says he'd be open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un , under the right circumstances.
    Star Wars: Episode IX Moves To May 2019

    Star Wars: Episode IX Moves To May 2019

    Disney also announced the live-action Lion King remake, starring Donald Glover as Simba, will be released on July 19, 2019. Disney and Star Wars fans will have two busy moviegoing years beginning with the release of Frozen 2 in November of 2012.
    Texas House Passes Senate Bill 4

    Texas House Passes Senate Bill 4

    Texas lawmaker Victoria Neave hasn't eaten since Sunday, she says, when she received a Holy Communion wafer during Mass. Police officials who don't cooperate risk a Class A misdemeanor charge and steep fines under the bill.

CONNECT