Sep 19, 2022 – We all know exercise is good for us. It helps you control weight and lowers the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancer. after almost Half of adults in the United States Don’t get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.
Some may blame a lack of time, energy, or motivation. Others may have physical limitations due to age or chronic conditions.
But what if you can achieve Exercise benefits Without breaking a sweat – simply by putting a pill or injecting a drug into your body?
This may sound too good to be true, but in fact, scientists are working towards this goal. The first step is to learn how exercise produces, at the molecular level, health benefits. Two recent studies have advanced this field.
In Australia, a team of researchers focused on changes in muscles.
“Many of these benefits [of exercise] Study author Benjamin Parker, PhD, a researcher in the Department of Physiology and Anatomy at the University of Melbourne in Australia says:
The researchers collected muscle biopsies from the people in the study, before and after doing different types of exercise: endurance, sprints, and resistance training. They discovered that the same gene – called the C18ORF25 gene – was activated after each species.
When this gene was removed from the mice, Parker says, the result was a reduced ability to exercise and muscle defects. When it was activated, muscle function increased.
“Our study identifies C18ORF25 as a new exercise gene to enhance muscle benefits,” Parker says.
The results are published in the journalcell metabolismAnd the It may give us insight into how to manage muscle disorders like muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis, combat age-related muscle loss, and improve athletic performance, Parker says.
This comes on the heels of others Research from Baylor College of Medicine and Stanford College of Medicine Check the molecules produced by exercise in the body.
After analyzing blood samples taken from mice before and after the rodents run on a treadmill, the researchers found that one compound — called Lac-Phe (N-lactoyl-phenylalanine) — increased more than any other. The higher the intensity level of the exercise, the higher the Lac-Phe level. Similar results were seen in blood samples from 36 people – Lac-Phe levels peaked after strenuous exercise and fell within an hour.
“We were looking for a basic biochemical understanding of exercise physiology and stumbled upon the discovery of Lac-Phe,” says study author Jonathan Long, a biochemist at Stanford University.
Scientists have found that Lac-Phe – a byproduct of lactate (produced in large quantities during exercise) and phenylalanine (a building block of protein) – may help regulate the drive to eat. After being injected with the molecule, the obese rodents on a special diet ate 50% less food and lost weight. (Interestingly, Lac-Phe didn’t have the same result when given in pill form, possibly because the stomach’s digestive acids break it down, making it ineffective.) This may explain why we don’t feel hungry right after an intense workout.
“We are actively investigating the appetite-suppressive effects of Lac-Phe and the underlying mechanisms,” says study author Yong Xu, professor of pediatrics, nutrition, and molecular and cell biology at Baylor. If all goes well, it could be used in humans to help lose weight one day, he says.
These aren’t the only studies to follow after “workout pills.” In the past decade, researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have reported a hormone that releases some of the health benefits of exercise, and it has recently been shown to Reducing levels of protein associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Scientists from the University of Southampton in England discovered a A compound that improves blood sugar levels and weight loss in obese rats. in other Research In mice, Salk Institute scientists have discovered how to activate the running gene pathway using a chemical compound. Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health funds a Large study to investigate the molecular impact of exercise.
However, despite the interest, it will likely be years before these findings are translated into clinical treatments. In the meantime, if you want to reap the benefits of exercise, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way.
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