Health experts have long recommended engaging in physical activities, but many people do not exercise. Swiss food company Nestlé, however, appears to have found a solution to this dilemma with the "exercise in a bottle."
The world's largest food company said that research conducted by scientists from the Nestlé Institute of Health suggest that food and nutritional products may soon be able to provide some of the beneficial effects of exercise on the body's metabolism and this could particularly benefit physically inactive individuals such as those with disability and disease as well as the elderly whose physical conditions prevent them from having an active lifestyle.
In the study "Mechanism of Action of Compound-13: An α1-Selective Small Molecule Activator of AMPK," which was published in the Journal Chemistry & Biology on Nov. 24, Kei Sakamoto, from the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues found that an enzyme that regulates metabolism and control how the body burns sugars and fats, can be controlled by a compound called C13.
In experiments involving mice, the compound C13 acts on the enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) to stop the liver from producing fat.
"The enzyme can help people who can't tolerate or continue rigorous exercise," Sakamoto said. "Instead of 20 minutes of jogging or 40 minutes of cycling, it may help boost metabolism with moderate exercise like brisk walking."
The researchers said that the findings of the study could possibly lead to the development of products that can help individuals suffering from metabolic disorder such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as pave way to products that can augment the effects of exercise.
"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."
Bloomberg said that the goal of the company is to add C13 into a food additive that would serve as a magic ingredient that could turn food products, even those with high fat and sugar content, into something that offers some of the benefits of exercise.
The development of such products can bring good news for those living a sedentary lifestyle. The researchers, however, cautioned that no product can replace exercise. Sakamoto said that given the number of effects that exercise offers, no single product can mimic all those effects.