At this point, we all know that exercise is an important aspect of keeping our health in tiptop shape and that a consistent amount of it is something we should all be having daily. This can be something as simple as taking a walk, a jog everyday or going to the gym to have a full-on workout
However, getting enough exercise isn’t a viable option for many, especially for the injured, physically challenged and the elderly. Not to worry, however, since new research revealed that help may be on its way, in the form of a protein supplement that can provide some of the key benefits of exercise.
The protein in question is a naturally-occurring protein known as Sestrin, which according to previous studies, accumulates in the muscles after an intense physical activity, such as exercise. Because of this, scientists from the University of Michigan had an idea: Can artificially upping an animal’s Sestrin levels produce the beneficial effects that are associated with the protein, and therefore exercise?
According to tests made on Drosophila flies, it can, as the flies ability to run and fly for prolonged periods were tested. Per results, flies lacking Sestrin weren’t able to endure, while regular flies with Sestrin endured just fine. Those overexpressed with the protein, however, showed more of an improvement than the regular flies.
Tests were also done on mice, revealing that Sestrin can keep immobilized muscles from atrophying, which can be useful for people with an injured limb.
“We propose that Sestrin can coordinate these biological activities by turning on or off different metabolic pathways. This kind of combined effect is important for producing exercise’s effects,” U Michigan’s Prof. Jun Hee Lee, who co-led the study along with Asst. Prof. Myungjin Kim, said.
As a result, the same researchers and scientists are now exploring the manner in which Sestrin is produced within our body. Furthermore, they are also looking for ways to develop the protein into a supplement that can be taken for people who find it physically challenging to have some regular exercise but still wants to be fit and healthy.