Drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise could soon become a reality, thanks to a breakthrough research which discovered around 1000 molecular reactions to exercise. The research exposed that molecular changes occur in our muscles when we exercise, providing the world’s first comprehensive exercise blueprint. “Exercise is the most powerful therapy for many human diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders,” said David James, head of the research group. “However, for many people, exercise isn’t a viable treatment option. Thus the drug will become essential in these cases,” he added.
The researchers analyzed human skeletal muscle biopsies from four untrained, healthy males following 10 minutes of high intensity exercise. Using a technique known as mass spectrometry to study a process called protein phosphorylation, co-author Dr. Benjamin Parker discovered that short, intensive exercise triggers more than 1,000 changes. Thus, any drug that mimics exercise will need to target multiple molecules and possibly even pathways. The majority of changes they discovered have not previously been associated with exercise, with existing research focusing on just a small number of changes.