Of all the things that people want the medical community to find, a way to take a pill and get their exercise is one of the most popular. Exercise is essential for being both physically and mentally healthy. As people age, it is more difficult to exercise as much is necessary, yet it remains just as critical. The combination of the metabolism slowing and the body’s inability to keep up the same level of activity can dissuade people from exercising. However, it is necessary for people to continue to exercise to help fight certain types of neurological diseases associated with aging, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Since the human body may not be able to sustain the same levels of exercise, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are looking into the chemical or neurological reactions that occur during exercise to help the brain. While it isn’t possible to fully replicate the benefits of exercise, initial studies indicate that the enzyme Gpld1 is produced in greater amounts in older mice that have increased exercise levels and is present in the mice’s blood.
There has been some confirmation of this finding by the school’s Memory and Aging Center that examined the presence of Gpld1 in older people who maintain regular exercise habits. The enzyme has also benefited learning and memory. Both mice and humans were given artificial boosts of the enzyme with similar positive effect. For the mice, this was done through blood transfusions from more active older mice to similarly aged mice that had been more sedentary. The health and mental benefits seemed to be about the same to the mice that had been sedentary as those that had been active. Data from the effects to their brains showed that that new neurons had formed in the hippocampus, which plays a role in how people make and store memories.
Check out the full article Memory-boosting Effects of Working out Could be Bottled in “Exercise Pill” for more details. It includes a quick video that details more about the study and its potential.