Featured Gene: AMPD1

Thursday, April 28, 2016. Author Alex Auld

How unique are your genetic results?

Of all the genes we test for at FitnessGenes, there are a handful of variations that are extremely rare. One of these is the AA variation of AMPD1 – a gene associated with energy production. So what role does AMPD1 play? Are there benefits to being AA? And most importantly, are you part of the 1%?

The Role of AMPD

During short periods of high intensity exercise, the enzyme adenosine monophosphate deaminase (AMPD) is activated. It helps to restore the ATP/ADP ratio to one that is most optimal for powerful muscle contraction. A deficiency in AMPD can lead to muscle fatigue, weakness and cramps following intense physical exertion.

AA and Reduced AMPD Activity

Your body’s AMPD activity is largely influenced by your AMPD1 gene variation. Research has shown that individuals with copies of the A allele have up to 55% reduced activity rate compared to GG carriers. AA carriers are seen to be deficient in AMPD, and experience lower maximal power output and an earlier loss of power. This may explain why the G allele is more commonly found in athletes who depend on anaerobic performance, such as sprinters.

However, having the AA variation has benefits too, including a greater accumulation of adenosine during exercise. This improves post-exercise recovery as it leads to increased arterial blood flow and returns the heart rate quicker to its resting values. There also appears to be a positive correlation between AA individuals and their proportion of slow twitch muscle fibres, which again provides an endurance advantage.

Finding The 1%

With only 1% of the global population carrying the AA variation it is extremely rare – and almost non-existent within Asian and African populations. In fact, only 7% of the global population carry a single copy of the A allele (AG).

So, do you carry one or both copies of the A allele? If you have already received your FitnessGenes results, you can check by logging into the member’s area.

Yet to order your FitnessGenes DNA Analysis kit? AMPD1 is just one of the 42 gene reports that we cover – discover your genetic potential by ordering your Genetic Training System today!

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