Health Bites: Exercise in Pill Form?

Health Bites Exercise in a Pill?

Researchers have developed a new pill that, when administered to mice, effected the body in the same way exercise does.

They call it "compound 14" (how sci-fi does that sound?) and it works by inhibiting an enzyme that produces insulin. That leads to the build up of ZMP (a 'master regulator' of metabolism.)Β The ZMP makes cells think they have run out of energy, and they compensate by increasing their glucose and metabolism. The same changes that happen during exercise.

In the study published in the journal Chemistry and Biology on Monday, scientists gave compound 14 to two different groups of mice. One group was fed a normal diet and the other a high-fat diet which made them obese and impaired their glucose tolerance, an early sign of pre-diabetes.

The results were intriguing: In the normal diet group, blood glucose and weight remained normal. But in the high-fat diet group, a single dose of compound 14 lowered blood glucose to near normal levels. A daily dose for seven days caused them to lose 5 percent of their body weight.

While the effects on a cellular level may be the same, I'd miss the whole - you know - actually exercising thing. One of the biggest reasons I exercise is to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Until they can bottle up that too I think I'd pass on compound 14.

Pregnancy at First Weight Effects Second Pregnancy

Yet another reason why there's no time like the present to get to a healthy weight; women who were at an unhealthy weight for their first pregnancy could be at a greater risk for complications in their second pregnancy, even if they were a healthy weight that time. The majority of women are either under or overweight when they become pregnant.

Women who were underweight during their first pregnancy were 20 percent more likely to give birth early and 40 percent more likely to have a small-for-gestational-age baby during their second pregnancy.

Women who were obese during their first pregnancy were 54 percent more likely to have a large-for-gestational-age baby during their second pregnancy. In addition, they were 156 percent more likely to have a dangerous complication of pregnancy calledpreeclampsia, and 85 percent more likely to have a cesarean delivery. Also, their babies were 37 percent more likely to die within 28 days after birth, the study found.

The article urges physicians to not let their guards down during second pregnancies even if the mom had a healthy first pregnancy. I've had a few people ask me how I'm able to workout while pregnant and the only answer I can give is that it's because I worked out before I got pregnant. If anyone is considering getting pregnant in the future I'd suggest trying to get into healthy habits now, because it will absolutely pay off during pregnancy.

So, would you take a pill to mimic exercise?

What was harder for you to do while pregnant - eat healthy or exercise?