Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Miracle Pill Could Mimic Exercise | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55372591

AFP photo shows women exercising at the gym.

London- US scientists have discovered a miracle “exercise pill” that mimics the effects of going to the gym.

Lead researcher Dr. Joshua Butcher, from Augusta University in Georgia, US, said: “Ultimately, the goal of our research would be to create a pill that mimics the effect of exercise and protects against obesity.

The scientists found that suppressing production of the protein myostatin increased muscle mass and led to significant improvements in markers of heart and kidney health.

“A pill that inhibits myostatin could also have applications for muscle-wasting diseases, such as cancer, muscle dystrophy and Aids,” Butcher said.

“Given that exercise is one of the most effective interventions for obesity, this creates a cycle by which a person becomes trapped in obesity,” he added.

The researchers bred four groups of lean and obese mice that were genetically programmed either to produce uninhibited levels of myostatin or to be completely lacking in the protein.

As expected, mice with no myostatin became markedly more muscular.

Another study has said that prostate cancer risk could be reduced by over half by drinking coffee at express speed as an Italian-style espresso.

The latest study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, observed coffee consumption and prostate cancer rates of 7,000 male residents of Molise, in south-central Italy, for four years. Researchers saw a 53 percent drop in risk for subjects who drank more than three cups a day.

The research was carried out by the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention – I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Italy, in collaboration with the Italian National Institute of Health and the I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata of Rome.

“In recent years we have seen a number of international studies on this issue,” says George Pounis, Greek researcher at Neuromed and first author of the paper. “But scientific evidence has been considered insufficient to draw conclusions. Moreover, in some cases results were contradictory. Our goal, therefore, was to increase knowledge in this field and to provide a clearer view.”

While our own genes play a role in picking what foods to eat and then metabolizing them in a unique way, we are now discovering that other processes or microbes could also be involved.

Another study from Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal and Monash University, Australia, led by Carlos Ribeiro, had led neuroscientist in showing that gut bacteria has an effect on animals food preference. Researchers have identified two species of bacteria that impact their dietary decisions.

It is a fact that nutrients and a community of bacteria, which is called a microbiome, resides inside the stomach and impacts health and eating. However, being able to control behavior is a big leap which is what this new study shows.