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Drug that mimics exercise benefits may be possible

A drug based on a muscle protein or a blood metabolite produced by exercise that has been shown to increase during exercise and burn fat may be possible according to research conducted by Dr. Robert Gerszten, of the Cardiology Division and Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School that was published in the Jan. 7, 2014, edition of the journal Cell Metabolism.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, coactivator 1 alpha.
Jawahar Swaminathan and MSD staff at the European Bioinformatics Institute This image has been released into the public domain by its creator and original copyright holder.

During exercise a protein called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1 alpha) is created. The researchers forced the expression of PGC-1 alpha in mice and found a blood metabolite called beta-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA) that caused fat to be burned during and after exercise.

The researchers found that BAIBA reduced weight gain and balanced blood sugar levels in mice.

BAIBA was found to reduce cholesterol, reduce insulin levels, reduce fasting blood sugar levels, reduce triglyceride levels, and was correlated with lower body mass index in people who exercised regularly.

The researchers note the fat burning potential of a naturally manufactured metabolite could be the perfect antidote for the epidemic of obesity in the United States and the world and could prevent the diseases like diabetes that are associated with obesity and being overweight.

A drug based on BAIBA may be the perfect solution to weight control without exercise that will actually work.