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I already outlined for you the benefits of exercise as a physical necessity. Without it, you may be shortening your lifespan just by remaining sedentary. In fact, only 23% of Americans get enough exercise for health benefits. One of the main advantages of exercise is its neuroprotective properties, keeping the brain sharp as we age. Scientists are now closer to a solution for the lack of exercise and cognitive decline in older adults. It happens to be a single protein produced during exercise, which may be a catalyst for exercise in a bottle.
Exercise Produced Protein
Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, have zeroed in on a protein produced by the liver during exercise in the bloodstream. The protein, GLDI, enters the blood after performing cardio, which may be responsible for the brain-boosting benefits of exercise. The researchers took these seldomly studied proteins produced in the liver and compared them in mice.
Researchers took the GLDI protein produced in young mice after exercise and injected it into older sedentary mice. After the protein was injected into the older mice for four weeks, it generated new neurons in their brains. Therefore, these mice experienced the same benefits of exercise without exercising.
In contrast, the scientists looked at another group of older mice and gave them access to exercise. These mice had the same cognitive improvements of the sedentary mice that were injected with the exercise produced protein. This shows the mitigating factor is the protein produced from exercise in the mice increases neurogenesis in the brain. As a result, this protein could be converted to a supplement down the line for those who cannot exercise.
Finally, a surprising finding of the protein treatments in mice showed accelerated benefits. After three weeks of the plasma infusions of the GLDI protein, equal benefits appeared in mice that participated in a cardiovascular activity for six weeks. Although these findings are astounding, scientists admit there is a lot to learn. See the video below to learn more about the research.
What does it mean?
Senior Study author Saul Villeda, stated, “If there were a drug that produced the same brain benefits as exercise, everyone would be taking it. Now our study suggests that at least some of these benefits might one day be available in pill form.” The impressive results of this research could mean a reduced age-related decline of the brain distributed in therapeutic form. The possibilities could lead to the treatment of brain dysfunction conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, it shows how the organs of the body communicate with the brain to orchestrate your health.
This is Just One Factor
Although this breakthrough is an exciting advancement in medicine leading to a potential oral supplement for exercise, it is not a magic pill. This protein only refers to the brain-boosting benefits of exercise. Exercise is responsible for several other life-sustaining needs, and should still be part of your daily habits. We must be cautious not to use supplementation as a means to replace healthy behaviors such as eating nutritiously and moving regularly.
The Bottom Line
The idea of exercise in a bottle is an enticing and cautious new venture. With anything, there is a possibility that this could be exploited to those that are slow to read the facts behind the purpose of this possible exercise pill. This may lead to demotivation in exercise because of a perceived easier way. In addition, copycats could flood the market, producing muddied results. We must learn the whole picture of this discovery and use it as a tool instead of a replacement.