Pill Power: Unlocking Exercise’s Benefits Without Breaking a Sweat

By: | March 27th, 2024

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Revolutionizing Fitness: The Quest for an Exercise Pill

Imagine reaping the benefits of exercise without breaking a sweat. Researchers in the United States have achieved what was once thought impossible: creating an ingestible pill that triggers a metabolic response typically associated only with physical activity.

Unveiling SLU-PP-332: Mimicking Exercise’s Effects at a Cellular Level

The researchers are developing a drug called SLU-PP-332, which shows promise in mimicking some of the cellular effects of exercise in mice. This breakthrough could be transformative for individuals who struggle to exercise due to age, illness, or other limitations.

Bahaa Elgendy, the primary scientist behind this breakthrough, asserts that effectively targeting the same metabolic pathway in humans could potentially revolutionize therapeutics.

From Mice to Medicine: Translating SLU-PP-332’s Promise for Human Health

For years, scientists and chemists have strived to develop an exercise pill. Exercise activates various metabolic pathways, with estrogen-related receptors (ERRs) showing particular promise. Historically, accessing these receptors has been challenging, with exercise being the only known method. Elgandy and his team are confident in their drug, SLU-PP-332, to the extent that they’ve launched a startup called Pelago Pharmaceuticals. Their research indicates that mice given SLU-PP-332 develop fatigue-resistant muscle fibers.

Following the administration of the drug, the rodents exhibited remarkable improvements in endurance. Those receiving the drug ran 70 percent longer and 45 percent further compared to those not administered the drug. Additionally, mice receiving SLU-PP-332 twice daily for a month showed significantly reduced fat gain—10 times less than untreated mice—despite maintaining the same diet and exercise regimen.

While putting on your sneakers remains the best path to overall fitness, this research represents an intriguing step toward new treatments and a deeper understanding of how exercise influences our bodies at a cellular level.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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