Tags: pill | exercise | motivation

Could a Pill Fuel Desire to Exercise?

Thursday, 14 June 2012 01:45 PM

It’s an old gym joke: The toughest part of any workout is tying up your sneaker laces. But if you find it hard to feel motivated to lace up those shoes and work out, a team of sports scientists has identified a new natural compound that might help – a hormone that actually drives the desire to get more exercise.
Swiss researchers identified a hormone in the brain – known as erythropoietin (Epo) – that appears to prompt a greater desire to exercise. Although the study involved mice, researchers said the finding has significant implications for humans and paves the way for new treatments that have “obvious benefits for a wide range of health problems.” Among them: Alzheimer's Disease, obesity, and other physical and mental health disorders for which increased physical activity is known to improve symptoms.
"If you can't put exercise in a pill, then maybe you can put the motivation to exercise in a pill instead," said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, which published the Swiss study.

"As more and more people become overweight and obese, we must attack the problem from all angles. Maybe the day will come when gyms are as easily found as fast food restaurants."
The study – led by Max Gassmann, a researcher with the University of Zurich in Switzerland – examined the effects of Epo on three sets of mice in laboratory experiments. One group of mice was injected with human Epo; a second was genetically modified to produce human Epo in the brain; and a third received no Epo treatment.
Researchers found both groups of mice treated with Epo exercised more and had significantly higher “running performance” than those that did not receive any of the hormone.
"Here we show that Epo increases the motivation to exercise," said Gassmann. "Most probably, Epo has a general effect on a person's mood and might be used in patients suffering from depression and related diseases."

© HealthDay

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Sports scientists identify a natural hormone that could help motivate people to work out.
Thursday, 14 June 2012 01:45 PM
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