Viewpoint: DNA fitness test claims are ‘misleading’

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The sales pitch is compelling: By revealing the secrets locked inside your DNA, genetic testing can optimize your workout gains while reducing your risk for injury. “Remove the guesswork from training,” claims one company. “Take your exercise choices to the next level,” says another.

The companies selling these services (often for hundreds of dollars) say they’re backed by hard science. But take a close look at the research undergirding these products and you’ll catch a distinct whiff of snake oil.

“There are some companies out there who are just making stuff up or exaggerating to the point of fraud, but even the companies that aren’t making fraudulent claims are utilizing the scientific aura surrounding DNA to imply that there’s more evidence than there really is,” says Robert Green.

Related article:  China demands DNA from millions of men and boys, raising questions about privacy and consent

Green says there are some genetic markers associated with the activity of fast twitch muscle fibers. These genes may play a minor role in a person’s response to different types of resistance training. Using this kernel of genetic science as a foundation, companies are constructing whole training programs.

The claims many of these testing companies make are misleading, and there is scant evidence tying genetic markers to training outcomes. But if you have money to burn and understand the shortcomings of these tests, you may still find them entertaining — and maybe even a little inspiring.

Read full, original post: The Truth About DNA Fitness Tests

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