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Exercise in a Pill? Research Moves One Step Closer

Imagine distilling a five mile run into a drug or supplement that, when taken, would provide the same benefits as actually running five miles. It sounds cool but far-fetched, right? Well, scientists from the University of Sydney and the University of Copenhagen have made an important discovery that makes the possibility of “exercise-in-a-pill” that much more likely. Their findings, published in Cell Metabolism, revealed over 1,000 molecular reactions that occurred in the muscles of healthy, untrained adults when they exercised. While it was already known that exercise produced many changes in the body, this is the first time that such an extensive number of changes have been mapped out in detail. According to the lead researcher of the new study, “Exercise is the most powerful therapy for many human diseases.” However, because many people can’t exercise for various reasons, the researchers believe that it’s important to find ways to mimic the positive effects of exercise through other treatments. To this end, the researchers combined the “blueprint” they created of the exercise-induced changes, along with mathematical and engineering-based analyses, to point towards possible therapeutic avenues in the future. It’s important to emphasize that this research appears to be very preliminary in nature. So, the bottom line is that if you can exercise, do, as there’s no substitute. Yet.

Source: University of Sydney

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