Scientists Develop Blueprint for "Exercise Pill"

October 7th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

At the same time that researchers are telling us that we need to spend more time exercising, another set of scientists at the University of Sydney and the University of British Columbia are pushing for a so-called "exercise pill" that could supposedly supplement aspects of your daily workout in the near future. 

By mapping out the more than 1,000 molecular changes that occur when you're exercising, researchers were able to develop a "blueprint" for a supplement that would affect energy metabolism to insulin sensitivity. The details of the researchers plans for this exercise pill were published in the journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences this month.

exercise pill

"I want to be clear that really there is no way to replace routine exercise with an exercise pill," the study's co-author Dr. Ismail Laher said. "Exercise requires your heart rate to go up, blood to flow faster, and you cannot do that with an exercise pill… but in particular groups, it's the next best thing."

Other news in health science. 

That's good news for people who don't spend a lot of time working out. A new study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School says that your 30-minute exercise routine isn't cutting it anymore. 

After looking at 12 studies that followed more than 370,000 men and women, researchers determined that you need to exercise for at least an hour or more to significantly reduce your heart failure risk. 

Though the 30-minute workout regimen previously recommended by the American Heart Association does have "modest reduction" in risk compared to those who don't exercise at all, the new standard should be somewhere in the neighborhood of one to two hours, according to Dr. Jarett Berry, a preventive cardiologist and senior author of the study.

For those who reported working out for one hour, heart failure risk was reduced by approximately 20 percent, and there was a "significant reduction" of 35 percent for people who exercised for two hours. More than 5.1 million Americans are affected by heart failure, with related healthcare costs exceeding $30 billion per year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Heart failure is a big public health concern and in contrast to the dramatic reduction in coronary disease that we’ve seen in the population, the incidence of heart failure remains relatively unchanged," Berry told the Washington Post.