‘Exercise pill’ turns couch potato mice into marathoners | Science News

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‘Exercise pill’ turns couch potato mice into marathoners

Drug tricks the body into burning fat like a trained athlete

By
4:08pm, May 10, 2017
mouse on an excercise wheel

WORKOUTS BEGONE  An experimental drug increases the running endurance of sedentary mice.

An experimental drug touted as “exercise in a pill” has dramatically increased endurance in couch potato mice, even after a lifetime of inactivity. It appears to work by adjusting the body’s metabolism, allowing muscles to favor burning fat over sugar, researchers report in the May 2 Cell Metabolism.

Sedentary mice prodded into exercising ran for an average of about 160 minutes on an exercise wheel before reaching exhaustion. But mice given the drug for eight weeks could run for 270 minutes on average. These mice were burning fat like conditioned athletes, even though they had spent their whole lives taking it easy, molecular biologist Michael Downes and colleagues found.

Normally, running, cycling or other prolonged exercise eventually depletes available glucose

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