Seeking to optimize athletic performance through DNA analysis

SportsandGenes final
Image credit: Athletic Genetix

Athletic Genetix promises to help athletes gain an edge (with reports personalized to individual sports) and to assist consumers in reaching their weight, strength and endurance goals. Raffaele Lauretta, the founder and chief executive of the company, and a former soccer player, believes DNA testing could usher in a new era of hyper-personalized nutrition and fitness.

The DNA test (which, similar to Ancestry.com uses a mailed-in spit sample and returns results a few weeks later) looks at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”) within genes. SNPs are variations of single genetic letters (A, C, G, and T). Athletic Genetix uses each person’s SNPs to identify predispositions to conditions such as a lactose intolerance or iron deficiency. It also promises to determine how certain vitamins—the BCM01 gene, for example, is linked to vitamin A production—foods, and exercises can enhance athletic output. The company then analyzes a number of genes together to make more complex conclusions about subjects such as power, endurance, and muscle composition.

Related article:  Length matters? DNA testing companies claim to assess stress, health and aging by measuring your telomeres

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The test has been used by amateur athletes in high school, collegiate athletes, and even a few pros, according to Lauretta, but it’s being marketed as a tool that can be used by anyone to improve their fitness. The test, results and consultation cost $249.

Read full, original post: DNA Tests Promise Keys to Athletic Performance, Weight Loss

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