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Science & Technology

Could a pill ever be a substitute for exercise ?

By T.K. Randall
January 13, 2020 · Comment icon 16 comments

Don't throw out your running shoes just yet... Image Credit: Kristian Olsen
Scientists have discovered a protein that may be responsible for the benefits that we get from exercise.
The idea that a simple pill could ever replace physical exercise sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but now according to new research, in the future such a thing may actually be possible.

The key lies in a protein known as Sestrin which is produced in our bodies when we exercise.

In a recent study, researchers at the University of Michigan constructed a 'fly treadmill' so that they could observe the difference in fitness of flies with and without the ability to produce the protein.

The findings suggested that Sestrin made a significant difference to their physical capabilities.

"Flies can usually run around four to six hours at this point and the normal flies' abilities improved over that period," said Prof Jun Hee Lee. "The flies without Sestrin did not improve with exercise."
Interestingly, it seemed that Sestrin did not just benefit the insects' endurance but also their aerobic capabilities, respiration and fat-burning rate - all things traditionally associated with exercise.

"We propose that Sestrin can coordinate these biological activities by turning on or off different metabolic pathways," said Lee.

"This kind of combined effect is important for producing exercise's effects."

Sadly however, producing a universal 'exercise pill' isn't quite so simple.

"Sestrins are not small molecules, but we are working to find small molecule modulators of Sestrin," said Lee.

Source: | Comments (16)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Bed of chaos 4 years ago
I doubt for exercise but some take preion medication for weight loss. Unfortunately this site wont let me list specific medication, comes up spam filter (I filled numerous times as pharm tech) begins with letter p.
Comment icon #8 Posted by tcgram 4 years ago
A pill cannot take the place of good nutrition, eating in moderation and exercise.  
Comment icon #9 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
Finally, a pill to cure stupid...  ~
Comment icon #10 Posted by Susanc241 4 years ago
Ah, but will a pill walk the dog?
Comment icon #11 Posted by 'Walt' E. Kurtz 4 years ago
The short answer is NO. Just to get you motivated to exercise If you walk 30 to 40 min three Times a week you will rejuvenate your brain and yes this is sciencetifically proven. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Farmer77 4 years ago
screw weight loss and endurance the real benefits of exercise are mental  
Comment icon #13 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
No, but you have to put the dog on the pill too. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by AllPossible 4 years ago
Lol no but that job is meant for the drones to worry about
Comment icon #15 Posted by Dustyrose33 4 years ago
People seek a "magic pill" that they think will let them eat and drink what they want, however much they want, but still remain slim.  
Comment icon #16 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
People are lazy and stupid. This lady came to me looking for a herb  to treat her son's ADD. The kid she wanted it for was a obese junk muncher. I told her the kid needed to clean up his diet and exercise to straighten out.  She then tells me "It's easier to give him pills I just wanted something natural".........schmuck...

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