Friday, January 13, 2012

Hormone discovered - now no exercise needed?

Big News flash - the discovery of a hormone which gives the benefits of exercising without exercising.

 "Just take a pill and it will be like we exercised?" asked one newscaster of Dr Steven Garner who was not associated with the study.  The doctor answered affirmatively, explaining that it switches the "bad fat" to "good fat".  "If you want to do without exercise, you would only would take this pill for 10 weeks!" continued the doctor.

"Wouldn't there be other benefits of exercise though that this hormone would not provide?" The newscaster asked.  Dr Garner admitted it did not build up muscle mass.  And when the newscaster asked how much this pill would cost, Dr Garner suggested it might be very expensive because only one pharmaceutical has the patent.

I am a strong believer in "if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't" so I investigated.  An article by Bloomberg, admitted the hormone had only been tested in mice.  That definitely, might be a problem as far as it working the same way in humans. For example, giving mice Leptin makes them slim and it was once touted as the magic obesity curing hormone yet it was very disappointing in human trials.  For some reason, Leptin doesn't have the same effect on humans as it did on the mice.  Whatever the case, the announcement that it would even be effective, let alone safe in humans was very premature.

The reality is first of all, it's unproven whether it's safe or effective in humans and Dr Garner on Fox News using buzz phrases like "all natural" and "no KNOWN side effects" is code for "we haven't really tested it and won't know about its safety or effectiveness until we market it and people live or drop dead."  

Secondly, the greatest benefit from cardio exercise is exercising the heart and no pill will do that.

Bottom line, unless you trust the pharmaceuticals with your life, pass on this one and don't throw out your treadmills or bicycles.

More than likely, this headline was more about obtaining funding for the scientists rather than a real breakthrough and nothing does that so well as an eye catching, anti-obesity headline given to the news services.