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Enzyme research could point way to weight-loss tablet



Published: Fri, July 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS

Everyone wants a quick fix. The very mention of a pill that helps the body lose weight and stop smoking created a media frenzy.

So stand by couch potatoes. A pill that simulates the effects of exercise may be on the way, Allure magazine reports.

Researchers at St. Vincent's Institute in Melbourne, Australia, have been investigating an enzyme found in all body cells.

In response to exercise, the enzyme, known as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), signals the body to burn fat and accelerate metabolism to accommodate the increased demand for energy. When the body adapts to a certain level of exertion, AMPK is no longer activated.

Researchers hope to develop a drug that would trigger AMPK with your feet propped up. People would still have to tone muscles, so gyms aren't likely to shut down.




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