What if you can pop an “exercise” pill daily which mimics the health benefits of running, weight training or endurance exercise to keep you fit and disease-free?
It does not seem a far-fetched idea as researchers from the University of Sydney have provided the world’s first extensive exercise blueprint that may pave the way for drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise in the near future.
They uncovered 1,000 molecular changes that occur in our muscles when we exercise, opening the door for drug treatments to mirror the health benefits of exercise.Exercise is the most powerful therapy for many human diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders,” said Professor David James from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.This means it is essential we find ways of evolutive drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise,” he added.
The team, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, analysed human skeletal muscle biopsies from four untrained, healthy males following 10 minutes of high intensity exercise.Using a technique known as mass spectrometry to study a procedure called protein phosphorylation, intensive exercise triggers more than 1,000 changes. they discovered that short
“With this exercise blueprint we have proven that any drug that mimics exercise will need to target multiple molecules and probably, even pathways,” the authors pointed out.The majority of changes they discovered have not already been associated with exercise, with existing research focusing on just a small number of changes.
“Exercise produces an excessively complex, cascading set of responses within human muscle. It plays an essential role in controlling energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity,” noted co-author Dr Nolan Hoffman from the Charles Perkins Centre.The researchers have narrowed down the therapeutic perspective within the blueprint using mathematical and engineering-based analysis.This is a major breakthrough, as it allows scientists to use this information to design a drug that mimics the true beneficial changes caused by exercise,” the team concluded.