When I read the headline this morning, I did a double take:
Exercise in a pill? Drugs show promise in mice
Exercise in a pill, could this be the next big thing that all of us lazy people have been waiting so long for? You just pop a pill and it’s instant exercise? Here’s what the article on MSNBC.com said:
Here’s a couch potato’s dream: What if a drug could help you gain some of the benefits of exercise without working up a sweat?
Scientists reported Thursday that there is such a drug — if you happen to be a mouse.
Sedentary mice that took the drug for four weeks burned more calories and had less fat than untreated mice. And when tested on a treadmill, they could run about 44 percent farther and 23 percent longer than untreated mice.
Ok, take a step back. It’s only been tested in mice so far.
Just how well those results might translate to people is an open question. But someday, researchers say, such a drug might help treat obesity, diabetes and people with medical conditions that keep them from exercising.
Ok, so this hasn’t been proven in people yet, but it could be some day soon.
Can you imagine the harm this could do to the health and fitness industry? No more need for exercise, just pop a pill and you’re physically fit!
Ok, honestly, this will never happen. They’ll find out some horrible side effect like the drug causes you to grow a third leg out of the side of your head, or something along those lines, and we’ll all have to resort to ACTUAL exercise again. The article ends with a cautionary note:
But Eric Hoffman of the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., noted that AICAR mimics only aerobic exercise, not the strength training that might be more useful to bedridden people or the elderly, for example. He also cautioned that it’s not clear whether the new mouse results can be reproduced in people.
Goodyear said exercise has such widespread benefits in the body that she doubts any one pill will ever be able to supply all of them. “For the majority of people,” she said, “it would be better to do exercise than to take a pill.”
Ok, well I guess that means I better go get my exercise clothes on. It was nice while it lasted.