A bitter pill to swallow: Scientists give mice effort-free exercise

Biotechnology, Health, Science


Lazy bastards and fatties rejoice – scientists in California have gone and created a pill that does all the hard work of exercise for you, helping you lose weight AND get fitter. Great news, yeah? Well, no.. Because before you get all excited and go mad ordering an extra large stuff-crust pizza in celebration – you should probably note that the pill only works on mice.

Yes, thanks to the good work by the people at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, whilst us humans still struggle to get down the gym and work off the calories from a rather lardy bacon sandwich, or run around the park to help shed a pound or two from our unwanted bulging bits – our furry friends the mice are laughing in our fat little faces.

In experiments on inactive mice, scientists discovered that they could chemically mimic the same experience as exercise in their bodies. In fact, over a four week period on AICAR (the name of the ‘no-exercise’ pill) all of the fat and lazy mice burned a higher number of calories and had less fat on them than those meeses that were left untreated. In further experiments using tiny little treadmills, the mice ran 44% more distance and 23% longer than ‘normal’ mice, and under a supplementary drug (which helped boost their endurance) they ran a mighty 68% longer and 70% further! Quite some pill.

But will it work on me? i hear you cry.

The answer is – we don’t know. They don’t know. Nobody knows. They’re doing tests. Advanced stage tests, and they’ll tell us after those. Personally, my guess is ‘no’. It’ll maybe have some beneficiary effects and wind up helping people with diabetes, or the elderly and infirm – but as to whether we can expect to sit back on our lazee-boy chairs and have the pill do all the hard work for us? Nah, I can’t see it. As nice as that dream is, “For the majority of people,” as someone who knows says, “it would be better to do exercise than to take a pill.”

Damn them mice. They get all the breaks.

[via Discovery]

Related posts: Death of Mouse | Exercise tracking phone

Ryan Weir
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