Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

A pill could replace exercise within a decade

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A seemingly far-fetched ‘magic bullet’ for weight reduction could soon become a reality, according to world-leading exercise scientist Professor John Hawley from the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research at the Australian Catholic University.

“Research has already shown that when sedentary mice are given exercise-enhancing drugs, they burn more calories and lose more weight than control animals. They can also run on a treadmill for much longer,” Professor Hawley said.

Speaking to BBC Future, Professor Hawley said the drugs used on the mice worked by tricking cells into working harder and thus increasing their metabolism and uptake of glucose. “But the question is, will human cells work the same way? And will it give us all the benefits of working up a sweat?”

Professor Hawley’s BBC Future video discussion piece can be watched here.

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