Really? Drug mimics exercise?
Why sweat it out at the gym if you can take a pill that shows the same results? While this may seem like something from science fiction, researchers from the Scripps Institute in Florida say they’ve created a chemical compound that mimics the body's reaction to exercise. Overweight mice were injected with the compound and lost weight and improved cholesterol, despite continuing to eat a high-fat diet.
The compound works by increasing activation of Rev-erb, a protein involved in controlling circadian rhythms and biological clocks. Where exercise increases the amount and power of mitochondria, the injected compound caused cells to create new mitochondria and strengthen existing ones – basically mimicking the effects of exercise. In addition to weight and cholesterol effects, the lab mice used more oxygen during the day and five percent more energy than control mice.
This drug is being touted as more than just an excuse for people not to exercise. The researchers believe it might enable people who are disabled or incapacitated to attain benefits of exercise.