In a potential breakthrough for the world of fitness and weight management, researchers at US pharmacies have developed a novel drug that could mimic the effects of exercise on the body. Known as SLU-PP-332, this drug has the potential to revolutionize fitness regimens by convincing the body’s muscles that they are undergoing vigorous training. The University of Florida released a statement highlighting the transformative potential of this compound.
“This compound is essentially instructing skeletal muscle to undergo the same changes observed during endurance training,” announced Thomas Burris, a professor at the University of Florida who led the recent research into SLU-PP-332.
The groundbreaking study, conducted in collaboration with teams from Missouri’s Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. It involved administering SLU-PP-332 to obese mice twice a day for a month.
Remarkably, after just 28 days, the mice treated with SLU-PP-332 exhibited significant weight loss compared to their untreated counterparts, despite consuming an identical diet and not engaging in increased physical activity. On average, these treated mice gained ten times less fat and lost 12% of their body weight.
SLU-PP-332 targets a specific group of proteins in the body known as ERRs, which play a crucial role in activating metabolic pathways in various tissues, including the heart and brain. Burris explained, “They use more energy in their day-to-day activities.”
Notably, the study also uncovered additional benefits of SLU-PP-332 when combined with exercise. Normal-weight mice treated with the drug were able to run 70% longer and 45% farther than their counterparts who did not receive the treatment.
Encouragingly, the drug demonstrated no severe side effects during the trial on mice. However, further testing on animals is required to thoroughly evaluate any potential side effects before considering human trials.
The next critical step in the development of SLU-PP-332 is refining its structure, with the ultimate goal of transforming it into an ingestible pill rather than requiring injections.
According to the University of Florida’s news release, Burris and his team are planning to explore whether SLU-PP-332 can also be effective in treating heart failure in mice by strengthening heart muscles. Additionally, they aim to investigate whether the drug can help maintain muscle mass while facilitating weight loss—a vital aspect of bringing this drug to the market.
“This may have the potential to improve the health of individuals as they age,” Burris asserted.