Most of you know that I’m a passionate pursuer of healthy living and exercise is a big part of that. I do also believe that supplements can be helpful in some situations, but can never replace exercise.
Recently, scientists at Nestlé claim to have found a compound that activates a master metabolic control switch, which inhibits fat production and increases your body's ability to burn sugar. A product using this technology is aimed squarely at the elderly, those with disabilities that prevent physical activity, and basically anyone that doesn’t want to exercise.
As reported by Huffington Post:
“Yes, scientists at Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, published their work in the journal Chemistry and Biology on Nov. 24. Kei Sakamoto's research team in Switzerland demonstrated how a compound (C13) could activate a master metabolic control switch, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK).
AMPK activation inhibits fat production in the liver and increases the body's capacity to burn sugar.
This is good news for the elderly and those with disabilities that preclude the possibility of physical activity. Of course the much larger potential market of simply sedentary people represents the sweet spot for such a product.”
As attractive as it might be to be able to take a supplement to replace exercise, that is simply never going to happen. There’s simply no way any pill or supplement could ever reproduce the synergistic benefits that exercise has, both on your body and mind.
For example, research published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows that when healthy but inactive people exercise intensely, even if the exercise time is short, it produces an immediate change in their DNA.
This fascinating study shows that the underlying genetic code in the muscle remains the same, but exercise causes important structural and chemical changes to the DNA molecules within the muscles. And this contraction-induced gene activation seems to lead to the genetic reprogramming of muscle for strength.
Additional studies have identified and measured a wide variety of biochemical changes that occur during exercise. Over 20 different metabolites are affected, including compounds that assist in burning calories and fat, and compounds that help stabilize your blood sugar.
One of the great things about exercising is that you really don’t need to spend multiple hours in the gym each week. Research shows that short bursts of intense exercise can be most effective if you’re doing it right, and you can reap many benefits from exercising as little as 40-60 minutes per week. This type of exercising is known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT – read more about it here).
In summary, the age old advice of exercising and eating right for good health is far better than taking any type of “magic elixir” or pill. In fact, removing processed foods and beverages and doing high intensity interval training will provide you far more benefits, and it won’t be costly or time-consuming!