Originally published December 14 2014
Nestle attempting to develop 'exercise in a bottle'
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) Could a few swigs of an enzyme-packed drink eventually replace exercise? If the folks at Nestle have it their way, it will be.
Their exercise-in-a-bottle plan is currently underway, as the company has put a handful of experts in charge of its development. Already, researchers say that they have identified the key to what may make the product a superstar: a metabolism-regulating enzyme called AMPK and, more specifically, its right-hand component, a compound called C13. The next step, they say, is to find fruit and plant extracts that may act as a trigger for the enzyme, then to continue fine-tuning the concept.(1)
"Instead of 20 minutes of jogging or 40 minutes of cycling, it may help boost metabolism with moderate exercise like brisk walking," said Nestle scientist Kei Sakamoto. "They'd get similar effects with less strain."(1)
Desire to help those with metabolic disorders cited as a motivating factor in product developmentNestle experts explains that the motivation for such a creation stems from their observations that there's been an increased interest in health foods and a related lifestyle. That, coupled with helping those unable to exercise such as disabled individuals, is what they say sparked the idea that such a drink might be beneficial.
Details of AMPK were published in the journal Chemistry & Biology in July 2014, where Sakamoto and others from the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland, discovered how the enzyme helps the body burn fats and sugars. Furthermore, they found that AMPK can be controlled by a compound, C13, which works to help prevent the liver from making fat. Of AMPK, Sakamoto says that it "can help people who can't tolerate or continue rigorous exercise."(2)
Additionally, they believe that their discoveries could give rise to other similar products that could help obese people and those with type 2 diabetes or other metabolic disorders. "In some conditions, such as diabetes, the body doesn't respond properly to insulin and muscle cells reject the message about their need to take up glucose," Sakamoto said. "However, even under such medical conditions, AMPK can find an alternative way and take up glucose in muscle."(2)
The published study, titled "Mechanism of Action of Compound-13: An [alpha]1-Selective Small Molecule Activator of AMPK," says, "The activation of AMPK provides desirable therapeutic effects in metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes."(3)
Long road ahead suggests return to basics: eat sensibly, stay as active as possibleWhile the idea is intriguing and seems to exhibit a certain appeal, Nestle experts say that, should such a drink come to fruition -- which may take several years -- it should not be embraced entirely as an exercise replacement. They maintain that exercise has multiple benefits which no one product should attempt to lay claim to.
Other companies that have been studying the health benefits of AMPK in an attempt to bring it to market in some consumer-friendly form include Merck & Co. in the US and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories of India. It's been 10 years and Merck is still engaged in testing, while Dr. Reddy's has said it has stopped its research on the enzyme. If their work is any indication, it may very well be a long road ahead for Nestle.(4)
Naveed Sattar, who is a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, says that the idea is exciting, but that's all it may ever be: an idea.
"A successful attempt in producing metabolic-assisting foods that mimic exercise would be marvelous -- the holy grail," said Sattar. "But there's no such thing as a free lunch. So far no such product has ever passed clinical trials."(4)
Sure, there's something to be said for studies that can delve deeper into the ways in which the metabolism works. However, this particular one seems to be one that's eyeing up big money and possibly even -- in time -- Big Pharma partnerships, while positioning themselves as a caring entity that's simply addressing society's interest in health.
Perhaps it's best to stick to the old-fashioned way of staying healthy, as time-consuming or challenging as it may be.
Enjoying a healthy diet void of junk foods and staying physically active (whether joining a gym, going for regular walks or, for those with disabilities and disorders, engaging in appropriate physical therapies or other therapeutic sessions) is the only best bet to ensure optimal health.
It's all there for people to enjoy, bypassing excessive studies and the animal testing that often accompanies the long, costly process.
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