Does this mean we can cancel those gym memberships?
Come on, admit it. Who hasn’t dreamed of a pill that you can just take to keep you healthy without having to exercise – especially when you’re beasting yourself at the gym?
Well, that dream might not be as fantastical as you first thought thanks to scientists from Deakin University in Melbourne, who have developed a drug that mimics the effect of exercise.
It all comes down to your lipid metabolism. The team were able to establish which molecules in muscles respond to exercise and then work to make a pill that encourages them to work overtime.
In a ground-breaking discovery that took ten years of research to find, the study found that overweight mice who were given the new drug no longer showed signs of heart-related diseases. Sure, at the moment it’s only for mice, but the research team are hoping to develop a more potent version for humans within the next ten years.
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But if you’re hoping for a miracle cure than can substitute those sweaty sessions in the gym, you might not want to cancel your membership just yet. In the experiment, the mice treated with the drug tended to eat a little bit more, compensating for the increased energy expenditure so that their weight remained stable.
This means that while this pill is especially useful for people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and obesity, it’s not going to help with weight loss like real life exercise would. It also doesn’t induce an increase in endorphins like a good workout does either. And who doesn’t love a good endorphin?
In fact, the research are keen to highlight that this isn’t a reward for a sedentary lifestyle. So rather than lazy millennials, the target audience for the drug is the elderly and those who aren’t capable with physical activity.
Either way, it’s still good news, even if it means heading back to the gym in the meantime.