Monday, January 4, 2010

It is in your DNA.....

Ultimately, whatever your training, your potential is limited by your genetic make up. Of course there is the whole area of gene expression - turning the genes on/off - but at the most simple level great athletes are born that way.

Look at the findings - there is a 1 in 500 chance of having the genes of an elite power athlete.


Can we identify a power-oriented polygenic profile?

Aim: Using the model originally developed by Williams & Folland (J Physiol 2008;586,113-21) we determined i) a 'total genotype score' (TGS, from the accumulated combination of the six polymorphisms, with a maximum value of '100' for the theoretically optimal polygenic score) in a group of elite power athletes, endurance athletes, and non-athletic controls ii) the probability for the occurrence of Spanish individuals with the 'perfect' power-oriented power profile (i.e. TGS=100).
Methods: We analysed six polymorphism that are candidates to explain individual variations in elite power athletic status or power phenotypes (ACE I/D, ACTN3 R577X, AGT Met235Thr, GDF-8 K153R, IL6 -174 G/C and NOS3 -786T>C) in 53 elite track and field power athletes (jumpers, sprinters), 100 non-athletic controls and 100 elite endurance athletes (distance runners and road cyclists) (all Spanish Caucasian males).
Results: The mean TGS was significantly higher in power athletes (70.8+/-17.3) compared to endurance athletes (60.4+/-15.9; P<0.001) and controls (63.3+/-13.2; P=0.012), whereas it did not differ between the latter two groups (P=0.366). A total of five power athletes (9.4%, all sprinters) had a theoretically 'optimal' TGS of 100, versus 0 subjects in the other two groups. The probability of a Spanish individual possessing a theoretically optimal polygenic profile for up to the six candidate polymorphisms we studied was very small, i.e. ~0.2% (or 1 in 500 Spanish individuals).
Conclusions: We have identified a polygenic profile that allows, at least partly, distinguish elite power athletes from both endurance athletes and non-athletic population.
Key words: Muscular strength, Elite athletes, Sprinters, jumpers.

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