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Exercise in a bottle?

Nestle scientists say they’re on the way to identifying a compound that could mimic the effects of exercise on our metabolism.

Nestle scientists are working on the Holy Grail for lazy people: exercise in a bottle. Scientists at the world’s largest food company say they’ve identified a compound that takes them one step closer to figuring out how to mimic the fat-burning effect of exercise. Just imagine, one day you may chug your workout, then take a nap!
That, however, is not the goal. Kei Sakamoto, the scientist who oversees research on diabetes and circadian rhythms at Nestle, told Bloomberg that the aim is to develop a nutritional product that mimics or enhances the effect of exercise for people with limited mobility due to old age, diabetes or obesity.
Nestle scientists say they’ve identified how an enzyme called AMPK that regulates metabolism can be stimulated by a compound called C13. AMPK works as a metabolic master switch, facilitating the body’s use of sugar and fat. It’s triggered by exercise. Their research was published earlier this year in the journal Chemistry & Biology and updated earlier this week, according to Bloomberg.
“The enzyme can help people who can’t tolerate or continue rigorous exercise,” Sakamoto told the news service. “Instead of 20 minutes of jogging or 40 minutes of cycling, it may help boost metabolism with moderate exercise like brisk walking. They’d get similar effects with less strain.”
But don’t toss your sneakers yet. Testing on animals probably won’t start for several years. And many products have made it that far only to fail like a New Year’s weight-loss resolution. “A successful attempt in producing metabolic-assisting foods that mimic exercise would be marvelous -- the holy grail,” Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, told Bloomberg. “But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So far no such product has ever passed clinical trials.”
Nestle scientists are also working on a kitchen appliance that can read your daily supplement deficiencies and spit out a personalized capsule, or food, to fix them–a Nespresso for nutrients. Perhaps the two projects could be combined so we can push a button in our kitchen and receive the smoothie equivalent of 45-minutes on the elliptical machine.

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