Researchers Hope to Develop ‘Exercise in a Bottle’

posted: 10/02/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Young man exercising in early morning running on steps
Leonardo Patrizi/iStock

Researchers from the University of Sydney are hoping to develop a drug that can mimic all of the effects of exercise -- minus the actual exercising.

In a newly published study, scientists analyzed skeletal muscle in healthy males after 10 minutes of high intensity physical activity, identifying over a thousand different molecular reactions that occur as a direct result of exercise. Many of the reactions identified have never before been attributed to physical activity.

"Exercise produces an extremely complex, cascading set of responses within human muscle. It plays an essential role in controlling energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity," study co-author Dr. Nolan Hoffman explains in a news release.

"While scientists have long suspected that exercise causes a complicated series of changes to human muscle, this is the first time we have been able to map exactly what happens."

An exercise-mimicking drug could be life-changing for individuals who are unable to exercise due to physical restrictions; lead author Professor David James notes that physical activity is "the most powerful therapy" for a host of diseases, including diabetes, certain neurological disorders and cardiovascular disease.

James and Hoffman's research is published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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