The Exercise Pill
It seems it will not be long before the effects of an exercise regime are packed into a pill that promises most of the effects of exercise. And the amount of research that is being conducted on exercise pills is quite astonishing!
This pill could be a blessing for every lazy being and the perfect solution to curb the growing prevalence of lifestyle disorders. But before we get too excited at the prospect of an exercise pill, it is important to understand if it is really effective.
An exercise prescription is often the most common advice given by most medical and paramedical practitioners. With the foundation that performing any form of exercise alleviates symptoms of chronic metabolic diseases, a study on possible molecules or pathways responsible for exercise- like effects in our body that could be used in a drug was conducted. Researchers from the University of Sydney and University of Copenhagen worked together on this study.
Performing any form of exercise immediately causes a number of changes in the body at the molecular level. So, though it would be almost impossible to mimic entirely all these changes with a pill, the idea is to identify the most important and major changes that occur and try to incorporate these changes, by the use of certain molecules responsible for each change into the drug.
Currently, only a blue print for such a drug has been prepared and a lot more research needs to be done in terms of safety, dosage, list of effects, long term potential etc.
In the study, four untrained subjects were chosen to participate. They were asked to perform a muscle biopsy 10 minutes before high intense cycling and were then asked to repeat the muscle biopsy post the exercise. Scientists studied the changes that occurred pre and post exercise in the deep muscle fibres and these changes then formed the design or blueprint for the elements that need to be present in the drug to deliver the benefits of exercise.
The Feasibility Factor
However as mentioned earlier, it is not practical to deliver all physiological changes in one small pill. The major aim of developing an exercise pill is to help individuals who cannot exercise due to a disability by being overtly obese.
With the foundation that performing any form of exercise alleviates symptoms of chronic metabolic diseases, a study on possible molecules or pathways responsible for exercise like effects in our body that could be used in a drug was conducted
The goal is to also mimic the benefits of exercise in individuals sutfenng from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases It would also work wonders in the case of morbidly obese elderly individuals. Weight reduction with the loss of fat mass can in fact, help lessen the impact of these diseases.
The molecules that have shown to produce effects of exercise include pharmacological agonists. hormones and phytochemicals rich in antioxidants. Some of them are however, responsible for a number of side effects including long-term chronic problems. Certain substances are not natural and may even be cancerous. In the sports nutrition industry as well, the renowned anti-doping agencies ban these substances.
What To Expect
Considering all the factors, it will be a long journey from creating the blue print to the pill actually hitting the market. It would probably take a decade more to set standards and make it available for consumer use. However, the pill is expected to have limited to nil side effects in comparison to the extraordinary benefits it would provide.
Also, there is a higher chance that a pill like this could possibly be abused by individuals that do not really need it. The pill though would not be an over-the-counter pill but rather available only through medical prescription. It is very important to understand that the pill is Intended specifically for those with chronic diseases and not for individuals looking for five-fifteen kilos weight loss for an upcoming wedding or a party!
We should realise that at the end of the day, our lifestyle is the answer to most of the major diseases that we are currently facing. People barely have any time to spare for their health but all the time in the world to work and earn big bucks. But to what end, is a question we need to ask ourselves. After all, health is indeed wealth