Exercise in a bottle could become a reality

Oct 16, 2015

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By University of Sydney

Research finds around 1000 molecular reactions to exercise, opening the door for drug treatments to mirror the health benefits of exercise.

Drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise could soon become a reality thanks to breakthrough research from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.

Published in Cell Metabolism, the research exposed a thousand molecular changes that occur in our muscles when we exercise, providing the world’s first comprehensive exercise blueprint.

“Exercise is the most powerful therapy for many human diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders,” said Professor David James, Leonard P. Ullmann Chair of Metabolic Systems at the Charles Perkins Centre and the head of the research group that undertook the study.

“However, for many people, exercise isn’t a viable treatment option. This means it is essential we find ways of developing drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise.”

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2 comments on “Exercise in a bottle could become a reality

  • There’s more to this one than it seems:

    The words Sydney Uni, Charles Perkins Centre, and Sugar are strongly associated in epidemiological statistical association. Possibly a causal effect. You can try this at home by entering all those words into Google.

    This must create a real challenge at Sydney Uni, especially Charles Perkins centre. Much of their salary and other resource funding comes from globally licensing ‘healthy’ status to low fat / low cholesterol type processed foods distributors. Plus they are major research funding beneficiaries of wealthy interests which would quickly become concerned should dietary sugars and refined starches ever be indicated as potential contributors to the various chronic diseases under investigation. Which means the direction of research is subject to at least some constraint. So, to the extent that new research seems to fail to support their major funders’ preferred outcomes (such as that disease is mostly the result of lack of exercise and self-discipline, genetic factors predominant, dietary sugar is relatively benign – low fat low GI ingredient etc,) then you’ll tend to see things played up or down or fudged in press releases and in published papers.

    NB the major scientific fudgery that the international sweetened beverage and confectionary producers are very heavily funding at present (very similar to what has and is still happening with the tobacco industry) is the idea that pretty much everything bad in public health is a consequence of insufficient exercise. There are former scientists and professors being paid quite significant sums of extra pocket money to simply push this line in public forums. (And at risk of their departments losing significant sums of funding should the opposite occur.) The implications being that if only people got enough regular exercise then drinking coke, eating junk food, and possibly even cigarette consumption, would become relatively irrelevant is a health issue. An especially important idea regarding thin end of the wedge regulatory proposals to impede sales of soft drinks and sports drinks etc. Similar issues arise with attempts to restrict access to guns in the USA.

    You can almost read this situation between the lines of this press release: In summary it basically implies that exercise is probably good for you. But no need to risk it just yet, there might be a pill on the way for those who can’t. (Read won’t.) This can be translated to read as an opportunity for pharmaceutical r&d funders to get involved. (Exercise itself not being patentable, just as not eating sugar can’t be patented as a medical breakthrough.) Seeing as a major effect of chronically consuming excess dietary sugars and starches is to greatly diminish people’s sense of energy and vigour, and therefore eliminate much spontaneous physical exertion, then it really will take a strong dose of some king of chemical to get them off their arses. This new pharmaceutical could possibly one day become a new additive to fortify wheat bix and nutrigrain etc. for the next generation of chronically diseased kids.

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  • Some very good points but the depressing similarity between the sugar lobby and the tobacco lobby is that there is already a wealth of information about the harm caused by their product and long term risks associated with it. It’s just that they are fighting a successful war to avoid legislation and keep the public in the dark.

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