Can a pill to strengthen muscles and bones replace exercise?

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Scientists are getting closer to finding solutions to muscle and bone loss. Jonathan Knowles / Getty Images
  • Physical activity is known to promote bone and muscle health.
  • Aging, lifestyle and chronic diseases can lead to a lack of physical activity, which is associated with bone and muscle loss.
  • New research has now identified a drug that can mimic physical exercise in mice.
  • The new drug, called locamidazole, can increase bone formation, mineral density, muscle thickness, and muscle strength in mice.

When we are physically active, our bones and muscles work together to make them stronger. To maintain bone health, the American College of Sports Medicine He recommends a combination of weight-bearing activities 3-5 times per week and resistance exercise 2-3 times per week.

Research has shown forever Exercising to be beneficial in maintaining bone health, and shrink in Physical exercise leads to bone loss. The Center for Disease Control calls for regular physical activity to strengthen and maintain muscles and bones, Research Improved muscle strength has been shown to have a moderate effect in relieving joint pain for people with joint pain in the spine.

Despite its benefits, modern life is associated with a lack of physical activity. according to World Health OrganizationPhysical inactivity is a serious but “insufficiently addressed public health problem” with up to 85% of the world’s population leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Inactivity is also associated with an increased risk of chronic disease. The British Heart Foundation More than 5 million deaths worldwide are attributed to lack of physical activity, which is equivalent to one of nine deaths in general.

Chronic conditions, injury, and aging can mean it is difficult to do physical activity, which can lead to muscle weakness (sarcopenia) Bone loss (osteoporosis).

New research conducted at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) has identified a new drug that can mimic exercise and promote similar changes in muscle and bone.

Led work Professor Tomoki Nakashima, Posted in Orthopedic Research.

In the studyThe research team has identified a new compound called Locamidazole (LAMZ) as a potential therapeutic drug that can cause effects similar to exercise.

To test the new compound, the researchers administered 10 mg/kg of LAMZ orally once daily, 6 mg/kg of LAMZ by injection twice daily, or a control solution for 14 days to male mice.

The administration of LAMZ orally and parenterally showed changes in both musculoskeletal and. The researchers observed that the treated mice had wider muscle fibers and increased muscle strength compared to the untreated mice.

Endurance was studied using a treadmill, and LAMZ-treated mice had less fatigue and walked longer distances than untreated mice.

In an interview with medical news today, Dr.. Joseph WatsuD., an assistant professor at Florida State University, who was not involved in the study, explained:

“It is intriguing that while the changes in the animals’ distance traveled were small (about 2%), the increases in modified maximal muscle strength and muscle fiber width were very significant after 14 days of LAMZ administration..

Using gene analysis, the researchers showed that LAMZ increased the number of mitochondria — the powerhouse of the cell — in muscle and bone cells. They observed an increase in the gene expression of PGC-1 alpha, a protein known to maintain muscle and bone cells and increase mitochondrial production.

“PCG1a is a well-known transcriptional activator that increases mitochondrial biogenesis. This is an interesting feature of the factor they identified as mitochondrial biogenesis is a hallmark of physiological adaptation to exercise training,” Dr. Watsuo explained to MNT.

To understand the pathway further, the researchers administered LAMZ orally to mice while blocking PGC-1 alpha. They found no increase in muscle strength, indicating the effects of LAMZ on muscle and bone through PGC-1 alpha.

3D images of bone samples created with microcomputed tomography It showed an increase in bone thickness, density and bone mineral content, confirming cell study results to increase formation and reduce bone loss.

“We were pleased to find that the LAMZ-treated mice exhibited greater muscle fiber breadth, greater maximal muscle strength, a higher rate of bone formation, and lower bone uptake activity,” the study’s lead author Takehito Ono commented.

The study showed that LAMZ can strengthen bones and muscles without any negative effects on surrounding tissues, and can act as a therapeutic drug by activating muscle and bone via PGC-1α, mimicking physical exercise.

Dr. Watsuo summarized the results:

The article provides convincing evidence in animals for an agent with a high potential for improving bone and muscle health. Like most agents evaluated in animals, the next major question is whether these results translate to humans. Of course, without any adverse side effects that may not have been observed in animal studies.”

He warned that “developing a single healthy elixir to replace the myriad benefits of regular physical activity and exercise would be a daunting task. However, sustained efforts are needed to reduce the incidence and associated burden of preventable diseases.”

In some cases, medication may be the safer option than exercise, but where possible, “exercise should be the first consideration for those with the ability to engage in physical activity,” said Dr. Watsuo.

Despite this, “it is certainly beneficial to continue studying population-specific risk factors and pathophysiology for potential treatment goals,” he added.

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