Today’s Solutions: September 25, 2022

Exercise is necessary for maintaining physical and mental health, and improving our quality and length of life. But for people who find it difficult to exercise due to age, medical conditions, and time, these benefits cannot be reaped. But what if we could get some of the advantages of exercise, all from the comfort of an armchair?

What does the pill do?

Researchers, at Stanford School of Medicine and collaborating institutions, have identified a molecule – called Lac-Phe – released during exercise that can effectively reduce food intake and therefore lower obesity in mice. Lac-Phe was identified through the analysis of blood samples after treadmill running, revealing the compound to be significantly induced by physical activity.

“Regular exercise has been proven to help weight loss, regulate appetite and improve the metabolic profile, especially for people who are overweight and obese,” said co-corresponding author Dr. Yong Xu. “If we can understand the mechanism by which exercise triggers these benefits, then we are closer to helping many people improve their health.”

Obesity rates are growing worldwide, bringing along with it negative health impacts such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. To improve public health, this fact needs to be tackled, however, it’s important to remember studies have shown emotional health is important to address when it comes to obesity.

What are the applications of the pill?

The team isn’t suggesting that this could replace exercise itself, but allow people who are not able to do exercise to live a healthier lifestyle. “We wanted to understand how exercise works at the molecular level to be able to capture some of its benefits,” added co-corresponding author Dr. Jonathan Long. “For example, older or frail people who cannot exercise enough, may one day benefit from taking a medication that can help slow down osteoporosis, heart disease or other conditions.”

These findings also help solidify the interplay of chemicals involving hunger and exercise, a complex collaborative process. However, more work needs to be carried out to fully understand how Lac-Phe mediates this effect in the body and brain before humans will be able to take this medication.

In the meantime, if you are able, find a sport that you love. Whether that be indoor climbing, fishing, or pickleball, there’s something out there for everyone!

Source study: NatureAn exercise-inducible metabolite that suppresses feeding and obesity

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

What you need to do to make your office more sustainable

Chances are it takes quite a lot of resources to keep your office running. Think about it. The office needs lighting and heat, the ...

Read More

These little tweaks will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle

While it may not be so hard to start living a healthier lifestyle, maintaining one can be very challenging. Having said this, here are ...

Read More

How this city in Illinois plans to stop homelessness by the end of the year

Less than a decade ago, more than 700 people were homeless in the small, 150,000 person city of Rockford, Illinois, about 90 miles northwest ...

Read More

5 ways to boost your microbiome this summer

There's no debating the importance of a healthy gut for overall well-being—and now, more than ever, staying in optimal health is top of mind ...

Read More