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Scientists Develop Pill that Mimics the Benefits of Exercise

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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What if you could get some of the health benefits of exercise without ever hitting the gym? 

Scientists are closer than ever to making this a reality. Their new research could lead to groundbreaking treatments for people who can’t exercise due to health conditions, medications, or aging

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Imagine a world where muscle loss and even some neurodegenerative diseases could be addressed with a simple pill…

Could a Pill Replace Your Workout?

Researchers are exploring a fascinating new frontier: medication that simulates the physical benefits of exercise.

A Game-Changer for People Facing Health Challenges

This groundbreaking research could lead to new treatments for those struggling with conditions like muscle atrophy, heart failure, and neurodegenerative diseases. It could also help people who face muscle loss due to aging, cancer, genetic conditions, or even certain medications.

The research team, led by Bahaa Elgendy, a professor of anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine, successfully created compounds that mimic the metabolic, muscle-enhancing effects of exercise.

The Compound That Changed it All

A molecule they synthesized, known as SLU-PP-332, activates a family of proteins called estrogen-related receptors (ERRs), which play a critical role in how the body responds to exercise.  The new compounds designed in the study show even greater potential for enhancing the physical benefits gained from exercise.

Potential for Treating Neurodegenerative Conditions

ERR activity also seems to be important in protecting the brain against diseases like Alzheimer’s. While the initial compound can’t cross into the brain, the team created new versions capable of doing so – a promising development for those with neurodegenerative conditions.

“Not Replacing Exercise, but…”

“We cannot replace exercise,” Elgendy emphasizes. “If I can exercise, I should go ahead and get the physical activity. But there are so many cases in which a substitute is needed.”

For people who are physically unable to exercise, medications like those under development could dramatically improve their quality of life.

A Personal and Heartfelt Mission

“It’s been heartbreaking for me to see especially kids who cannot move…who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy and all of these horrible diseases. I’m not a hundred percent sure that this could be a cure, but this could at least help some people…to improve their quality of life.”

Bahaa Elgendy

Important Note: This article does not substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare professional for personalized guidance about exercise and any relevant medical conditions or medications.


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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