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Pill Gets Couch Potatoes Fit Without Budging from Sofa

by Nancy Needhima on January 14, 2012 at 7:30 AM
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Pill Gets Couch Potatoes Fit Without Budging from Sofa

Scientists confidently profess for having created a drug that offers all the benefits of exercise without the exercises.

They have discovered that the hormone irisin, found naturally in the body, is responsible for some of the health benefits of sweating it out at the gym.

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When given to mice, the researchers found that irisin was key in the development of 'good fat', which burns off calories.

The mice were also better able to control their blood sugar levels, cutting their odds of developing diabetes, the Daily Mail reported.

The chemical, named after the Greek messenger goddess Iris, also helps to produce 'healthy' brown fat that burns off weight but largely disappears as we age.
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It is replaced by 'bad' white fat, which typically sits as a spare tyre around the waist.

Professor Bruce Spiegelman, of Harvard Medical School in the United States, believe harnessing irisin will lead to better therapies for any illness that can be combated by exercise.

The researchers said the best effects of exercise on muscle are caused by a protein known as PGC1-alpha.

They found expression of this molecule in mice stimulated another chemical called FNDC5 that is secreted as irisin in the outer membrane of muscle cells.

Experiments found irisin helps the 'browning' of white fat, which increases energy expenditure and improves resistance to obesity linked diabetes.

What is more, the animals did not appear to experience any side effects.

Now, the researchers hope to be able to test an irisin-based drug on humans within two years.

The findings are published online in Nature.

Source: ANI
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