Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle has announced its new project: an edible product that will replace exercise, or at least offer some benefits.
The product would regulate AMPK, an enzyme called the “master metabolic switch.” The target customer for the product would be individuals who are obese or have diabetes, ABC News reported.
Researchers at Nestle Institute of Health Sciences and elsewhere have found that a compound called C13 acts on this enzyme in mice to stop the liver from producing fat. This is potentially the first step in mimicking the fat-burning effect of exercise, Bloomberg reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Kei Sakamoto” author_title=”Nestle Institute of Health Sciences”]
Ideally, we’ll be able to develop products that will promote and augment the effects of exercise.
The product will not replace exercise, the company said. Nestle has said it’s committment to this product shows that it is working to address the disenchantment many consumers have reported with packaged foods by making products that do more than address hunger.
“Instead of 20 minutes of jogging or 40 minutes of cycling, it may help boost metabolism with moderate exercise like brisk walking,” Sakamoto said, adding that individuals could get similar effects of exercise with less strain.
An older diabetes drug does work to stimulate AMPK. The drug, metformin, inhibits sugar output from the liver and helps some diabetes patients lose weight. Nestle, however, does not plan to partner with a drugmaker for its AMPK project, Bloomberg reported.
It will still be some time before the new product is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and becomes available for consumers.
Many pharmaceutical companies have pushed into science nutrition and attempting to target AMPK with no success. Merck & Co, for example, is still working on targeting AMPK after more than ten years of research. Nestle scientists are searching for plant and fruit extracts that may trigger the enzyme, Business Insider reported.