A pill for bloggers
Can you enjoy the benefits of exercise without the pain of exertion? The answer may one day be yes — just take a pill that tricks the muscles into thinking they have been working out furiously.Sign me up coach, I am ready to play.
Researchers at the Salk Institute report they have found two drugs that do wonders for the athletic endurance of couch potato mice. One drug, known as Aicar, increased the mice’s endurance on a treadmill by 44 percent after just four weeks of treatment.
A second drug, GW1516, supercharged the mice to a 75 percent increase in endurance, but had to be combined with exercise to have any effect.
“It’s a little bit like a free lunch without the calories,” said Dr. Ronald M. Evans, leader of the Salk group.
The results, Dr. Evans said, seem reasonably likely to apply to people, who control muscle tone with the same underlying genes as do mice. And if the drugs work and prove to be safe, they could be useful in a wide range of settings.