The new age we are now entering, The Shift Age, will be a time of great transformation.  One of the areas that will undergo the greatest transformation is health and medicine.  It is expected that nanotechnology will bring great changes in both medical treatments and life expectancy.  The miniaturization of computer and chip technology will finally initiate the era of the bionic human to some degree.  There will breakthroughs in pharmacology and discoveries that will basically be unintended consequences of research into the treatment and cures of many diseases.

One such incredible discovery was reported last week by researchers at the Salk Institute in San Diego.  They reported that they had found two drugs that increased muscle endurance without exercise.  The two drugs, Alcar and GW1516 increased the endurance of ‘couch potato mice” dramatically.  Alcar increased the mice’s endurance by 44% after just four weeks of treatment.  GW1516 increased endurance by 75% but had to be combined with exercise to have any effect.

Across the country the sound of overweight couch potatoes clapping their remotes together was positively deafening.  On Wall Street, the price of publicly traded health club chains plummeted as sellers shorted the stocks.  Kidding on both accounts.

This discovery is analogous to eating meals without calories or smoking cigarettes without any negative health consequences. The “no pain, no gain” mantra spoken by thousands of personal trainers nation-wide might thankfully be retired.

There are some serious immediate positive possibilities for these drugs.  Health conditions such as obesity and diabetes which are improved by exercise may soon be treated by these drugs.  Many overweight diabetics have become that way due to an aversion to rigorous exercise.  Now they might have an alternative that will at least get them in good enough shape to undertake a real exercise program..

The lead scientist on this study is Dr. Ronald Evans a scientist with the impressive credential of having won the Lasker Award, an award often won by scientists who end up winning a Nobel Prize.  He is of the foremost authorities on how hormones work in cells and a gene controlling protein called PPAR-delta.  In the past, he found that this played different roles in muscle, which exists in two forms. Type 1 muscle fibers have a lot of  mitochondria which generate energy cellular energy and are therefore resistant to fatigue.  Type 2 muscle fibers have less mitochondria and there tire more easily.  Athletes tend to have a greater amount of type 1 muscle mass while obese people have fewer type 1 and more type 2.

Dr. Evan’s research team found that both drugs remodel muscles to create more type 1 muscle mass., but that the GW1516 increases a greater amount, but only when combined with exercise.  The research team pointed out that a test has been created to test whether a competitive athlete has taken either one of these drugs, so that they cannot be used in sports where performance enhancing drugs are prohibited.

The more we learn about health, eating and exercise the more we realize that the axioms from the past are true. Exercise every day, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, be happy, know how to relax, all have been scientifically shown to increase good health and longevity.  Upon this foundation, medical science has added wonder drugs and increasingly less invasive surgical procedures and body part replacements that even 20 years ago would have been thought to be in the realm of science fiction.

We are now entering a transformative time of discoveries and breakthroughs that will provide even more amazement and give us hope, similar to this discovery of the benefits of Alcar and GW1416.  As you contemplate this, put on a good pair of shoes and go for a good walk or run.  Don’t wait for tomorrow’s discoveries; they will be here soon enough.

4 Responses to “Future Trends – Gain without Pain?”

  1. alon Says:

    If this one works, it could be dramatic. People spend 10% of their lives in the Gym while they could have been watching TV, eating Pizza and stay fit…

  2. george rosenbaum Says:

    Robert Hutchins said that when he feels a need to excercise he takes a nap. These drugs may succeed in putting us all to sleep. In truth, Hutchins an intellectual giant was on his feet all the time, too busy for exercise, but I think getting most of its benefits. Those benefits, of course, include not just muscle power but also some brain power. Perhaps the
    mice whose endurance is being kickstarted are also
    becoming smarter.

  3. Arman Rousta Says:

    Well, I am a bit less optimistic about all of this “medical science” than David. Sure, it is amazing as far as cutting edge technology and there are some wonderful applications to the advancements that have been made; however, for the most part, the amount of money invested in these technologies and ‘advanced drugs’ and the way they are marketed pervasively, then literally forced by doctors, is majorly responsible, in my humble view, for the sad state of America. As the only developed country, and a world leader on so many fronts, would we rather support programs that push these types of drugs which further ENCOURAGE the already bad habits in people, or rather invest in education, universal health coverage and other character development initiatives? I believe that it is time that our country stopped trying to “be the best” and compete in the world, and start paying more attention to where we’ve gone wrong and how we can go back to basics. Instead of inventing things that are out of touch with natural living and that don’t really solve anything, let’s invest in the basics of good health – health education, incentives for healthy living, universal health care, and somehow, someway, we’ve got to move away from processed foods, and more towards organic, non-GMO and home grown food purchasing habits.

  4. Paul Says:

    Hello,

    Enjoyed reading some of the blogs. I like the sound of the ability to smoke without the negative effects. I have given up for a month now. The cravings are still very strong, (especially right now); perhaps some of those cells are remembering how lovely a cigarette can be. Smile. Oh dear, I have got myself a little worked up. I think I had better go for one of those runs that I have taken up since quitting. Big smile.

    The thing I like the most since quitting is my memory function is improving. Including, as right now, those restimulated cells.

    Bring on the future. We can’t stop it anyhow.

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