If it’s not something one does regularly, exercise can sometimes feel like a burden, a boring necessities. So what if there was a way to move it from a necessities full of equipment and time to something popping out of your mouth? What if a person could theoretically exercise? A new study from Stanford University brings the world one step closer to that reality.
Researchers from the US have published their findings in the journal Nature, where they have discovered the molecules behind the link between exercise and hunger.
Their original intention was to find out why exercise makes people hungry.
During their investigation, they discovered a molecule called Lac-Phe, which is produced during movement.
It is this molecule that helps reduce obesity and food intake.
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Speaking of their research, Professor Xu Yang said: “If we can understand the mechanism by which exercise triggers these benefits, then we are one step closer to helping many people improve their health.”
Meanwhile, co-author Jonathan Long said the benefits were delivered in pill form.
Long said the pill could help prolong life: “We wanted to understand what exercise does at the molecular level so we could get some of its benefits.
“For example, the elderly or infirm who cannot exercise enough may one day benefit from taking drugs that help slow osteoporosis, heart disease or other conditions.”
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Professor Xu added: “Our next steps include finding more details about how Lac-Phe regulates its effects on the body, including the brain.
“Our goal is to learn how to modularize this motor pathway for therapeutic intervention.”
Although more research is needed to understand how this molecule is controlled and packaged, this marks a significant step towards an “exercise pill.”
While this would be a major scientific achievement, there are other reasons for people to continue exercising the way they currently do, besides physical fitness.
In addition to helping people lose weight and improve their physical health, exercise also benefits mental health.
Exercise releases a series of hormones in the brain, such as serotonin.
These hormones can improve mood and well-being.
While the future may resemble Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the old ways may still be the best, at least for some.