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Gene in Focus: Part 32 - HLA DQ2 & DQ8

Posted 399 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

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3389 Posted 413 Days Ago in: Training

Gene in Focus - Part 31: IL6R

The next gene in our series of articles taking a closer look at those that make up the DNAFit reports is IL6R. This gene is closely related to IL6, which we discussed a few months ago, as it encodes for Interleukin-6 receptor, which is what IL6 binds to – influencing the action of IL6 within the body. There are two different alleles associated with this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); the C allele and the A allele. Typically, those with at least one C allele tend to have higher levels of IL6R. This was shown in a 2004 study, whereby in a group of 70 subjects, those that were C allele carriers had significantly higher levels of IL6R. This is important because higher levels of IL6R within the blood tend to mean higher levels of IL6 too. For example, a 2007 study found that those with the CC genotype had almost 1.5 times higher levels of IL6 compared to AA genotypes, whilst AC genotypes had about 1.1 times higher levels.

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3387 Posted 420 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

Gene in Focus - Part 30: ADRB3

This week we are investigating ADRB3, a gene which appears in our fat sensitivity panel. This gene encodes for beta-3-adrenergic receptors, which are located mainly is fat tissue. They play a role in breaking down fat for use as energy, and a small change in this gene, known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), is thought to determine how well we can tolerate saturated fats.

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3384 Posted 427 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in focus: Part 29 - TRHR

The next gene in our “Gene in Focus” series to get put under the spotlight is TRHR. This gene encodes for the thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor, which is a receptor for a hormone called thyrotropic-releasing hormone (TRH), which is released from the hypothalamus. When TRH binds to TRHR, it causes a number of different cellular signals to occur, which in turn stimulate the thyroid gland to produce thyroxin, which in turn plays a role in the growth and development of skeletal muscle. Small changes in the TRHR gene mean that the hormone receptor is not quite as good at binding with TRH, which in turn can reduce or limit the amount of muscle that can be produced following training.

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3382 Posted 434 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 28 - PPARGC1A

This week to turn our attention to PPARGC1A, or as we call it at DNAFit, “the one with the long name”. This gene encodes for a protein called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1a), which causes some of the positive changes that occur in our body following exercise. One of the ways that exercise can lead to improvements is through something called mitochondrial biogenesis, which is the production of new mitochondria within the muscle itself.

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3379 Posted 441 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

Gene in Focus: Part 27: CAT & GPX1

This week we look at two genes that form part of our antioxidant needs section of the DNAFit Diet report, called CAT and GPX1. The gene that carries the most weight in this section is SOD2, which we have looked at previously in this series. If you can’t remember that far back, SOD2 is an antioxidant enzyme, and small changes in the SOD2 gene can lead to that enzyme working better or worse, which can increase how much of the antioxidant nutrients you require. CAT and GPX1 play a supportive role here.

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3377 Posted 448 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

Gene in Focus: Part 26: FABP2

This week we turn our attention to FABP2, a gene that appears in both the carbohydrate and saturated fat parts of our reports. This gene creates a protein called Fatty Acid Binding Protein-2, which is found in our small intestines. FABP2 binds to the various different fatty acids, and allows them to be absorbed into the body.

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3374 Posted 455 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 25 - TNF

This edition’s gene is TNF, which creates tumor necrosis factor. TNF is a pro-inflammatory cytokine - higher levels of TNF are associated with higher levels of inflammation, which can have an impact on various health risks, as well as our ability to recover from exercise. Higher levels of TNF following exercise are associated with higher levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP); this drives inflammation, requiring longer recovery times between hard training sessions.

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3371 Posted 462 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 24 - NRF2

This week we look in depth at NRF-2, a gene that appears in our power-endurance panel. This gene creates nuclear respiratory factor 2, which plays a role in allowing some of the improvements that happen following endurance training, including increases in the number of mitochondria we have, a process called mitochondrial biogenesis. There are a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within this gene, but the one we are most interested in is rs7181866, as this one has the most evidence supporting its inclusion in our panel.

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3370 Posted 469 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

Gene in Focus: Part 23 - PPARG

This week we look at PPARG, a gene that appears in both our carbohydrate and fat sensitivity panels within our diet report. This gene creates a protein known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, which plays a role in the formation of fat cells, as well as the use of fats and carbohydrates as a source of energy.

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3367 Posted 476 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 22 - BDKRB2

Our attention this week is on another gene that is found as part of our Peak Performance algorithm, which has been shown to enhance response to a resistance training programme. The gene we are focusing on this week is BDKRB2, which encodes for the bradykinin B2 receptor, which comprises one of the pathways through which bradykinin can exert its influence. Bradykinin itself is a protein that causes dilation (widening) of blood vessels, making it easier for blood to move to certain areas of the body. The effects of this gene are closely linked to the of ACE, which is a gene we met earlier in this series. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme, which is produced by the ACE gene, also breaks down bradykinin, such that ACE II genotypes (who have lower levels of ACE) should theoretically have higher levels of bradykinin.

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3364 Posted 483 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 21: COL1A1

The next gene to be subject to our attention in this column is COL1A1, a gene that can play a role in determining your injury risk. COL1A1 encodes for Type-I collagen, which is one of the main constituents of collagen, a structural component found in ligaments and tendons.

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3361 Posted 490 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 20 - AGT

This week, we turn our attention in this blog to AGT, a gene that appears in both our fitness and diet reports. This gene plays a role in how well we respond to power-based training, and so appears in our power-endurance profile, and also plays a role in blood pressure control, and hence appears in our salt sensitivity section. AGT is similar to ACE, a gene we looked at earlier in this series, in that it creates a protein that can cause our blood pressure to go up or down – the protein in this case being called angiotensinogen.

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3359 Posted 497 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 19: AD1HC

If you’ve ever heard that a glass of red wine per day is good for your heart, this is truer for some people than others. Plenty of research has shown that moderate amounts of alcohol consumption can protect against risks of heart disease. For example, a study published in 1997 found that alcohol intake was associated with a protective effect against coronary heart disease in a sample of almost 130,000 people – this effect was present for both beer and wine. A second study, again from 1997, found that in both men and women, rates of cardiovascular disease were 30-40% lower in those consuming at least one drink per day compared to abstainers.

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3356 Posted 504 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 18: PPARA

In this week's edition of our blog, we look at PPARA, a gene that affects how well we can respond to different types of training, and as a result appears in our power-endurance algorithm. PPARA creates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, a protein which activates other genes, as well as being a regulator of fatty acid oxidation during exercise. The gene is activated when our cells aren’t getting enough energy, such as when we fast, or when we take part in exercise that uses up our energy stores, such as endurance exercise.

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3353 Posted 511 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 17: VEGF

This week, we look at a gene that plays a role in both the power/endurance and aerobic trainability aspect of our report. This gene is VEGF, and it creates Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, which plays a role in the creation of new blood vessels. This is a useful adaptation to aerobic training, because more blood vessels around the muscle mean better, more efficient transport of oxygen, as well as fuel sources such as carbohydrates and fats, to the muscle; this in turn improves how well a person can use oxygen and exercise aerobically. When we exercise, our muscle cells quite often don’t get as much oxygen as they need. This causes the VEGF gene to be “turned on”, with transcription upregulated and more VEGF formed – leading to this increased growth of new blood vessels.

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3350 Posted 518 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 16: GSTM1 & GSTT1

This week, we turn our attention not to a single gene, but two that play a role in determining our requirements of cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and everyone’s favorite, Brussels sprouts. These foods contain plenty of compounds that are beneficial for our health, but one that we are most interested in for these genes are glucosinolates, which have been researched for their effects on cancers.

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3343 Posted 525 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 15 - IL-6

This week, we turn our attention to IL-6, a gene that appears in a number of our trait reports – it can affect the power-endurance response, recovery speed, injury risk, and omega-3 requirements.

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3339 Posted 531 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 14 - SOD2

SOD2 is the gene that creates Manganese Superoxide Dismutase-2 (MnSOD2), an antioxidant found in the mitochondria – small “cells within our cells” which are where our body produces energy for both movement and everyday life. The enzyme helps to convert free radicals, which can cause damage to the mitochondria, into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide.

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3336 Posted 539 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 13 - ADRB2

This week we turn our attention to a gene called ADRB2, which plays a role in response to exercise, VO2max trainability, and sensitivity to both fats and carbohydrates. When talking about ADRB2, we are actually interested in two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in the gene, given the imaginative and catchy names of Arg16Gly and Gln27Glu. This gene codes for something called the beta-2 adrenergic receptor, whose job it is to bind to adrenaline.

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3334 Posted 545 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 12 - FTO

Continuing our focus on specific genes, this week we place FTO under the microscope. This gene plays a role in determining how well we deal with fats, especially saturated fats, but it is also implicated in obesity risk – as such, FTO is called the fat mass and obesity-associated gene.

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3331 Posted 553 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 11: CRP

The next gene to be put under our spotlight is CRP. This gene affects both the aerobic trainability and recovery aspects of our report, as well as playing a role in the DNAFit Peak Performance algorithm. Small changes within this gene cause changes in the amount of CRP we would expect each person to have, both at baseline and following exercise. CRP stands for C-Reactive Protein, which is a marker for inflammation.

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3329 Posted 563 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 10 - GDF-5

GDF-5 is a gene which encodes for a protein called Growth Differentiation Factor-5. Whilst the specific role of this protein is currently unknown, we do know that a SNP contained within the gene is associated with an increased injury risk, especially with regards to tendons, ligaments, and bone.

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3325 Posted 573 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 9: VDR

The next gene in our series is VDR; the vitamin D receptor gene. This gene plays a role in how well our bodies can utilise vitamin D, which in turn can affect various different processes. Currently, VDR appears in three different sections of our report – power/endurance, vitamin D needs, and caffeine sensitivity.

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3324 Posted 579 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 8: TCF7L2

The gene that we are going to be taking a closer look at this week is TCF7L2. This gene creates a protein called transcription factor 7-like 2, which in turn binds to other genes to alter their expression. It has been shown through research to have an impact on how well you tolerate carbohydrates, and how well you tolerate saturated fat, which is how we report on it in the DNAFit reports.

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3321 Posted 587 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 7: LCT

This week we are going to be looking at a gene that affects how well we can tolerate lactose. Roughly 65% of the world’s population lose the ability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk, after weaning. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense – humans typically need to digest milk when they are babies because their main source of nutrition is breast milk; however, once the child has stopped breast feeding, historically there was no need for them to continue to digest lactose, because milk wasn’t readily available. However, as humans migrated out of Africa into Asia, and eventually into Europe, a small polymorphism occurred which enabled some of them to continue to digest lactose into adulthood.

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3317 Posted 601 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 6 - MTHFR

The next gene in our series is perhaps one of the more controversial ones; MTHFR. This gene creates an enzyme with an incredibly long name – Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme is part of a complex chemical pathway known as the methyl cycle, which plays a role in the conversion of a potentially harmful compound called homocysteine, into a safe amino acid, called methionine.

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3313 Posted 609 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus – Part 5: ApoA2

In this edition of Gene in Focus, we are going to look at a gene that effects our saturated fat sensitivity, called ApoA2. This gene creates Apolipoprotein A-II, which is part of high density lipoproteins (HDL). A small change in this gene can have an effect on how well you can transport cholesterol, and the research also indicates that it can have an impact on how well you can tolerate saturated fat.

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3307 Posted 623 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 3: ACTN3

The next gene we are going to discuss in the focus series is ACTN3. It’s one of the most well studied genes with regards to sporting performance. ACTN3 codes for a protein that is found exclusively in the fastest kind of muscle fibres, type IIx, called a-actinin-3. Fast twitch muscle fibers can contract quickly and powerfully, and as such are linked to sprinting or weightlifting. Generally, people who are quick or strong will have plenty of type-IIx muscle fibers, whilst people who are better at long distance running will have more type-I muscle fibers (often called slow twitch muscle fibers).

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3301 Posted 637 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 1: ACE

As part of a new series on the DNAFit blog, we are going to look at a specific gene in detail, see what the science says about it, and how it can affect you with regards to fitness and diet. The first gene to be put under the microscope in our series is ACE, or the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene. Did you know that knowing your ACE genotype can empower you to make better decisions regarding your training and also your diet?

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Receive our FREE 14-day guide, direct to your inbox, on how genetics impact every aspect of fitness and nutrition.