Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why Exercise When You Can Just Pop a Pill?

That's right! Scientists have now put exercise in a pill. It's a couch potato's dream.

The new exercise pill works by fooling your body into thinking it's doing exercise.

Scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California tested out the new exercise pill on young adult mice, and found it to be effective.

Sedentary mice given the drug for four weeks burned more calories and had less fat than untreated mice. When tested on a treadmill, the treated mice could run about 44 percent farther and 23 percent longer than the untreated mice.

The no-exercise drug is called AICAR. Previous experiments suggest that it might protect against gaining weight on a high-fat diet.

Experts who study muscle agreed that a drug like AICAR may prove useful someday in treating obesity and diabetes. Many drug companies are working on such drugs in diabetes because in animals, AICAR stimulates muscles to remove sugar from the blood, noted Laurie Goodyear of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

People who can't exercise because of a medical condition like joint pain or heart failure might also benefit from such a drug, experts said.

But Eric Hoffman of the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., noted that AICAR mimics only aerobic exercise, not the strength training that might be more useful to bedridden people or the elderly, for example. He also cautioned that it's not clear whether the new mouse results can be reproduced in people.

Goodyear said exercise has such widespread benefits in the body that she doubts any one pill will ever be able to supply all of them. "For the majority of people," she said, "it would be better to do exercise than to take a pill."

Sounds like good advice to me.

Source: here

Related Article: "Can A Pill Make You Thin? Fat Chance."


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4 comments:

Doris said...

Laura,

I taught aerobics for years, and I can remember seeing the pill poppers in the gym trying to loose weight, but the people sweating and making sure they had their cardio were able to really keep the fat off and maintain a lifelong habit of good health.

Thanks, Great article!

SmushPants said...

There is no replacement for good old fashion exercise. This kind of stuff worries me.

Paul Eilers said...

Exercise is needed to pump the lymph system. This system is a major part of the immune system. It carries out the garbage of your body.

When you don't get much exercise, the garbage/toxins in your body accumulate, and some of it eventually ends up in your bloodstream, etc. This can lead to headaches and much worse, including heart disease, cancer and stroke.

That's why I don't see how popping a pill is going to have the same effect as exercise on the lymph system. People are always looking for the easy way out. You don't have to be training for the Olympics, but some kind of exercise every day does a body good.

Laura said...

Doris - I agree, exercise is the way to go. I know several ladies where I work who have lost a significant amount of weight popping pills. But I worry about their health and I wonder how they will maintain their weight loss - by continuing to take pills? I don't think it's wise.

Smushpants - I'm with you!

Paul - Well said, Dear! :)

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