If there was a pill that mimicked the effects of exercise – without you having to workout – would you take it? Given the potential of skyrocketing stock prices bestowed on any company that could achieve this feat, it should come as no surprise that this has been a goal of big pharma for decades. So is it really possible? This is the promise of a new drug called SLU-PP-332, which, if the initial reports are true, may bring us one step closer to this holy grail of medical research- exercise in a pill. Let's review the SLU PP 332 proof, research, possible side effects and how much might work for you if the studies are to believed.
What Does SLU-PP-32 Stand For?
The letters and numbers refer to the name of the drug which helps researchers identify it from other, similar compounds, but SLU and PP don't refer to anything specifically. In science, it's common to give a seemingly strange combination of letters and numbers to an experimental drug. For example, a meaningless combination of letters and numbers is also used for the Limitless memory pill too.
How Does SLU-PP-332 Work?
SLU PP 332 belongs to a class of drugs called exercise mimetics. In other words it mimics or simulates the effects of physical activity.
It is thought that SLU-PP-332 tricks the body into thinking that the it is exercising, when it is not. This causes the body to increase metabolism and burn more fat. More specifically, SLU-PP-332 works by targeting a group of proteins in in skeletal muscles called estrogen-related receptors (ERRs). These receptors are scattered throughout the body and their concentration is increased in metabolically active tissues including muscle but also in the heart and liver too.
This exercise simulating drug ramps up the activity of alpha, beta and gamma estrogen-related receptors (ERRs). These ERRs help regulate metabolic rate throughout the body, and while they are always active, they are more active during physical activity. So by making the body “think” its exercising, ERR proteins become more active.
Additionally these estrogen related receptors also ramp up the production of cellular powerhouses called mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis) and improve the efficiency of the Krebs cycle, the cascade of cellular processes which burns fat and turns it into energy.
SLU-PP-332 Weight Loss Proof
In a study where researchers purposely fed mice a high fat diet, they gained weight. This makes sense as they were eating more calories. However when treated with SLU PP 332 for 28 days, mice lost about 12% of their body weight. Additionally, the exercise mimetic drug also appeared to cause less fat to be gained when mice were fed a high fat diet. Untreated mice gained about 5 grams of fat mass while those treated with the drug gained only 0.5 grams.
Does SLU PP 332 Improve Type II Diabetes?
When this physical activity simulating drug was given to overweight mice, it increased resting metabolic rate, which is good. However the drug did not lower fasting blood sugar or insulin levels. SLU-PP-332 also failed to reduce post postprandial blood sugar – the glucose levels after eating. Likewise, there was no improvement in glucose tolerance either.
Something else that may come as a surprise is that even though the drug raised metabolism, it did not do so by increasing brown adipose tissue (brown fat).
Does SLU-PP-332 Suppress Appetite?
So far, the drug doesn't appear to impact appetite. When it was given to laboratory animals they did not eat less food.
SLU-PP-332 Exercise Proof
Given the potential of this experimental drug, its likely to pique the interest athletes. In one paper researchers at the University of Florida reported that SLU-PP-332 improved both speed and aerobic ability of mice by helping them run almost 50% farther and 70% longer than mice not receiving the drug.
In another study, the exercise-drug was shown to increase fat burning by 25% and reduce the usage of carbohydrates. In theory, these findings hold great promise for athletes ranging from marathon runners and cyclists to triathletes. In another study, the drug was reported to increase the ejection fraction of the heart in mice that were induced to have heart failure.
Ejection fraction is the percentage of blood pumped from the heart with each heart beat. Greater ejection fractions can benefit not only those with heart disease but also healthy athletes as well.
Given the potential incentives for misuse by pro and amateur athletes, no doubt supplement makers will be working hard to find a natural version of SLU PP 332 for exercisers who look for anything that might give them a unnatural leg up over the competition.
Effect On Muscle Mass
In one study, mice given SLU PP 332 for 28 days did not demonstrate increases in skeletal muscle mass. This lack of lean mass promotion may indicate the drug offers no exercise performance benefits to weight lifters. However if the promise of reduced body fat percentages holds true for humans, there may be motivations for bodybuilders to experiment with this drug.
Does SLU-PP-332 Raise Estrogen Levels
Because this drug activates estrogen-related receptors, it's logical for men to ask the question if SLU PP 332 elevates female hormones including estrogen, which is usually the bane of existence of bodybuilders. Studies so far have not shown estrogen binds to these types of estrogen receptors. So good news here.
SLU-PP-332 Side Effects
So far, no negative side effects have been reported, however bear in mind that much more clinical research is required to determine what benefits this exercise simulating drug may have for humans, and what its potential adverse effects might be. Based on animal research, the drug does not appear to:
- raise liver enzymes
- alter pancreas function
- raise blood glucose levels
- lower insulin
- increase appetite
Additionally, while SLU PP 332 was demonstrated to lower total cholesterol and triglycerides, it seems to have no clinically meaningful effect on reducing bad, LDL cholesterol. Oddly, the drug also appears to reduce good, HDL cholesterol.
How Much SLU-PP-332 Should You Take?
As was the case with myostatin inhibitors several years ago, eventually supplement companies will probably be advertising natural versions of SLU-PP-332. While those supplements will need to be proven effective, if they were on the shelves of health-food stores today, how much should you be looking at in an oral product?
While the optimal human dosage needs to be zeroed in on, we can get an estimate it by looking at the amounts used in animal studies. In one clinical trial, mice were given 50 mg per kg of body weight, twice per day. In other words, the amount was based on how much they weighed.
Based on that amount, here is a summary of some approximate dosages for humans:
- 140 lbs (63 kg): 504 mg
- 150 lbs (68 kg): 544 mg
- 160 lbs (72 kg): 576 mg
- 170 lbs (77 kg): 616 mg
- 180 lbs (82 kg): 656 mg
- 190 lbs (86 kg): 680 mg
- 200 lbs (91 kg): 728 mg
Use these amounts as a guide to evaluate supplements rather than taking them as gospel. They are based in the drug itself- not natural ingredients. Also, remember that supplement versions of SLU PP 332 might not work exactly the same as the drug and may be metabolized differently.
Lastly, remember the labrotory animal research involved injections of SLU-PP-332 which may work differently than orally taken supplements. For those who think pill versions are far fetched, remember Ozempic started out as injections and now researchers are working on pill forms.
What Do I Think?
Initial reports reveal potentially impressive results however we must remember SLU-PP-332 is still an experimental drug. You cannot get this from a doctor and the effective results seen in animals have not yet been confirmed in humans. Companies making claims about natural, dietary supplement versions of SLU PP 332 should be viewed with skepticism until proven they really work as advertised.