New pill could replace exercise

It goes without saying that exercise is beneficial for all manner of physical, emotional and mental aspects of life.

But many struggle to find the time to get in a few laps of the oval or the pool, lift some weights and get in the necessary exercise to ensure wellbeing.

With this in mind, scientists at Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California are developing a ‘miracle’ medicine called 516 that may one day replace the actual act of exercising.

Lead researcher Ronald Evans claims that 516 is “exercise in a pill”.

The team has been working on the chemical compound 516 for almost 10 years. It works by ‘tricking’ your body into breaking down fat instead of carbohydrates and mimicking the effects of high-performance exercise.

Exercise is the trigger for a chemical process at the molecular level that burns calories and builds muscle. The pill mimics this molecular effect without the need for actual exercise.

This may sound like the lazy man’s way out of exercising, but the truth is that not all people can physically exercise. Older people, people with disabilities, mobility issues, bad backs, chronic pain and other physical ailments often deteriorate both physically and mentally because they cannot exercise. The 516 pill could mean that they have all the benefits of exercise, including building muscle, strengthening their bodies and maintaining a healthy weight.

The drug is still in its trial stages and has had its share of hiccups. Early studies on mice showed that a stronger form of the drug caused cancer.

But 516 isn’t the only exercise pill being developed. There’s another called Compound 14 that fools your body into breaking down sugar by making your cells think they’ve run out of energy.

Compound 14 may help those with diabetes and obesity, although it is far from the testing stages.

On the other hand, there are experimental versions of 516 available now, with bodybuilders and athletes using it, although the substance has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency prior to FDA approval.

516 is still a while away from your pharmacy, so until then, the only way to reap the benefits of exercise is to, well, exercise.

Read more at www.salk.edu

Would 516 benefit you or someone you know? Or would you rather all the benefits of exercise the natural way?

Related articles:
Exercise without trying
Safe exercise for older adults
How to exercise your whole body

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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