Genetic Analysis and Fitness – Part One
Genetic Analysis and Fitness – Part One
– Genetically tailored fitness is where it’s at – never heard of it, you will. It might seem to be in the realms of science fiction but genetic analysis of our DNA for health & fitness training is now fact, and it’s not just for the professional athletes and Olympians but for all of us.
FitnessGenes, the UK’s leading authority in Fitness & Nutrition DNA interpretation contacted me back in November to see if I would be interested in taking a DNA test. The outcome to see what genetic traits my body has and provide me with a better suited training plan based on those genetic markers.
In the first of three parts i’ll be exploring what is involved in providing your DNA for analysis. Part two will be about the results – which are provided in great detail, so I thought it would be worth putting that in a post all of it’s own. Finally, part three, which will be in the next few months after my 12 Week Challenge where I am basing my workouts on the results of the DNA analysis and using the Muscle Building System training plan that FitnessGenes have provided me.
The Dummies Guide to DNA
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the blue print of life. Its famous double helix is an incredibly long chain built by linking together four simple molecules. The order in which those molecules are linked determines the information contained in the DNA and it is the sequence of those molecules that molecular biologists are now understanding and decoding.
Genes are DNA chains made up of hundreds or thousands of simple molecules. Each gene contains instructions to make another type of crucial molecule, known as a protein. Proteins (no, not the Whey version) include everything from hormones such as insulin to enzymes that help digest the food we eat. Some proteins turn other genes on and off, which then affect still other genes, creating complicated feedback loops. Individual proteins are but tiny cogs in incredibly complex biological systems.
There are over 80,000 genes making up the human body which flip on and off in a type of amazing molecular dance that leads to a human life being created. Scientists today are uncovering more and more of these genes and proteins that underlie small pieces of this great big puzzle.
The Test Kit
So what do you get when you sign up for a DNA test. It is pretty simple actually and for the squeamish among you, you’ll be pleased to know it doesn’t involve needles or blood!
The kit boxed arrived and the instructions are very straight forward. You basically spit in a tube till it’s full, seal it, shake it and pop it back into the box. Seal the box, register it online before you send it back and once all that is done just pop it in the post box with a pre-paid postage address.
I have had a few people ask me if I’m worried about a company having my DNA, or it being held in some big data centre somewhere. It does seem a little big brother. But this is my thought on it all, firstly I’ve been to the dentist and i’ve been to the doctors and had blood tests done, so if the ‘government’ really wanted my DNA then it already has it. Secondly as far as a company owning my DNA is concerned, pretty much any pub in Brighton has had opportunity to harvest my DNA from a pint glass on a Friday evening, surely that would be far more efficient and easier for some evil corporation to get a persons genetic code? Thirdly & finally, I pity the poor fool who would want to clone me!
The sample is sent to a certified UK laboratory for processing, which typically takes 2-3 weeks. At the lab, the team extracts the DNA from your saliva sample and analyze it for 43 different genetic variations linked to physical performance or nutrition – what those 43 different genetic variations are and what they mean to you nutrition & training i’ll cover in the second article later this week. The process is duplicated so that you can be sure and have confidence in your results that you get sent.
What is covered in the analyzing process?
43 genetic variations are looked at from the DNA that is provided and these will included things that will impact your diet, training or both. Which means you’ll begin to understand why your body responds the way it does, things you could try instead and adapt your diet based you genetic traits.
All of this information is accessed via the FitnessGenes portal, which thankfully for me is straightforward and easy to understand. You can also access you system training plan here and a whole library of exercises to learn and do.
Some of the 43 genes analysed include: ACE – endurance, IL15RA – muscle volume, FTO – appetite, UCP2 – metabolism & ACVR1B – muscle strength.
It’s all really exciting, the results you get back are very detailed and take some digesting but more on than that in Part 2.
Genetic Analysis and Fitness – The Results, will posted next Monday.
If you’re interested in getting your own DNA specific training blueprint then pay a visit to FitnessGenes.
If you want to learn more about DNA and Genetics then there really is a Genetics for Dummies book!