Take your exercise pill

Scientists may be able to come up with a pill that makes you want to exercise, thus solving — sort of — the nation’s obesity epidemic.

Swiss researchers have found that by elevating a hormone –erythropoietin (Epo) — in mice, they were more motivated to exercise.


To make this discovery, Gassmann and colleagues used three types of mice: those that received no treatment, those that were injected with human Epo, and those that were genetically modified to produce human Epo in the brain. Compared to the mice that did not have any increase in Epo, both mouse groups harboring human Epo in the brain showed significantly higher running performance without increases in red blood cells.

“If you can’t put exercise in a pill, then maybe you can put the motivation to exercise in a pill instead,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “As more and more people become overweight and obese, we must attack the problem from all angles. Maybe the day will come when gyms are as easily found as fast food restaurants.”

The obesity epidemic could come down to whether the obese can be motivated to take their pill.

  • Funky Brewster

    Epo is already used for anemic patients (and blood dopin), right?

  • Ann McK.

    Is this the same EPO that Lance Armstrong is accused of taking?