Dr Samantha Decombel,  Chief Science Officer

Dr Samantha Decombel, Chief Science Officer

Genes we analyze

At present we use 43 different genetic variations in our data modelling. Some of these genes impact on your training recommendations, some impact on your diet recommendations, and some impact on both. We provide comprehensive reports on a number of the genes affected so you can learn more about what your genetic results actually mean. See below for a list of the current completed reports you can find on our site.

ACE

A gene for endurance

One copy of a particular version of the ACE gene has been found more often in elite endurance athletes, and every climber tested to date who has ascended over 8,000m. Your FitnessGenes result tells you whether you carry this endurance version, the alternative power/strength version or both.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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ACTN3

A gene for speed

ACTN3 is the world’s most famous ‘gene for speed’. This gene encodes for α-actinin-3, a protein that has been linked to greater baseline strength, a protective effect against muscle damage, and an increase in fast-twitch muscle fibres. One particular version of ACTN3 has been found in almost every Olympic sprinter ever tested. Your FitnessGenes result will tell you if you carry the ‘sprinter’ version, the version linked to endurance or both.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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ACVR1B

A gene for muscle strength

The muscle growth limiting protein myostatin (as explained in the MSTN gene report) is affected by a protein encoded by the ACVR1B gene.  One variation of ACVR1B has been associated with increased strength.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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ADRB2_1

A gene for adrenaline signalling

The fight-or-flight hormone, adrenaline, functions as a signalling molecule by binding to a protein coded for by the ADBR2 gene (beta-2 adrenergic receptor). This receptor plays a key role in skeletal muscle, cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and hormonal systems. ADRB2_1 genetic variations are related to levels of the ADBR2 receptor.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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ADRB2_2

A gene for adrenaline signalling

The fight-or-flight hormone, adrenaline, functions as a signalling molecule by binding to a protein coded for by the ADBR2 gene (beta-2 adrenergic receptor).  This receptor plays a key role in skeletal muscle, cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and hormonal systems. The ADRB2_2 genetic variations are associated with obesity and the effect of weight loss interventions.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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AGT

A gene for blood pressure regulation

The protein angiotensinogen, which is produced by the AGT gene, is one of the initial components of a system which helps regulate blood pressure. It also has associations with skeletal and cardiac muscle growth. Your FitnessGenes result indicates your angiotensinogen levels, susceptibility to develop high blood pressure and the impact on strength/power performance.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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AKT1

A gene associated with aerobic exercise response

The AKT1 gene codes for an enzyme related to muscle building and metabolism. Some of us carry a particular version of this gene that is linked to better resting metabolic factors and greater increases in VO2 max in response to aerobic exercise. Your FitnessGenes result tells you which version of this gene you carry.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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AMPD1

A gene for energy production

AMPD is an enzyme that plays a role in anaerobic capacity and leads to fast accumulation of lactate after sprint exercises. We test for a genetic variation (AMPD1) that has been linked to different levels of this enzyme. One variation leads to lower levels of AMPD and has been found less frequently in strength/power athletes.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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APOA2

A gene for response to saturated fat intake

The APOA2 gene codes for a protein that is thought to play a role in fat metabolism, insulin sensitivity and obesity. A variation in this gene has been associated with a larger response to saturated fat intake and obesity.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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APOA5

A gene for blood triglyceride levels

The APOA5 gene codes for the APOA5 molecule. This molecule plays an important role in regulating blood triglyceride levels. FitnessGenes test for a variation of the APOA5 gene which affect levels of the APOA5 molecule in the blood and suggest some dietary choices to control blood triglyceride levels.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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BDKRB2

A gene for vascular function

Widening of the blood vessels and therefore blood flow and blood pressure is regulated, amongst other things, by a molecule called bradykinin.  Bradykinin binds to the bradykinin receptor (a protein encoded by the BDKRB2 gene).  Different variants of this gene lead to lower or higher expression of this receptor and are associated with hypertension risk and also with endurance athletes.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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CKM

A gene related to muscle energy

Creatine kinase, encoded by the CKM gene, is an enzyme which influences the energy systems used in your cells.  Your FitnessGenes result tells you whether you carry a CKM genotype that is found more commonly in endurance or strength athletes.  CKM levels are also related to the ability to process oxygen which is important for speed and endurance.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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CLOCK

A gene affecting sleep cycle

Sleep duration and quality can affect many things, including muscle recovery, muscle building, weight loss, athletic performance, learning and cognition. Many gene variants have been reported to affect the sleep cycle or the circadian clock. At FitnessGenes, we test for the Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput (Clock) gene. Your result tells you whether you do or don't carry any genetic variants associated with a disturbed circadian rhythm and whether you are likely to be a night owl, morning lark or somewhere in between.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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CNTF

A gene for nerve activity

Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is a protein which functions mainly in the nervous system. It is involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth as well as protecting against inflammation. Variations in the CNTF gene affect the levels of CNTF protein and are associated with body composition and strength gains.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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CYP1A2

A gene for caffeine metabolism

Caffeine has been used by athletes for a long time as a performance-enhancing drug. Studies have shown that taking caffeine improves performance in sports and exercise. Your FitnessGenes result tells you which caffeine-clearing molecule you carry and how long you can expect it to take for caffeine to be removed from the bloodstream.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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ESR1

A gene for testosterone levels

The ESR1 (TET) gene can affect muscle building and testosterone levels.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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FOLATE

Genes that impact homocysteine levels

Folate, or folic acid, is usually something we associate with pregnant women, but might it have important consequences for you too? The role of folate in red blood cell production and tissue repair makes it a particularly important vitamin for athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. Folate deficiency can also increase homocysteine levels in the blood, which is an indicator of certain health issues. Your FitnessGenes result tells you whether you carry any genetic variations which affect the folate pathways in your body.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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FTO

A gene for appetite

Genetics is known to influence food cravings, with carriers of a particular version of the FTO gene seemingly biologically wired to eat more and feel hungrier sooner. In ancient humanity, where food was scarce, this is likely to have been a straightforward survival mechanism, but it becomes problematic in a modern world with easy access to high-energy foods. Your FitnessGenes result will tell you whether you have any copies of the FTO gene linked to increased appetite.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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HERC2

A gene for eye colour

Eye, hair and skin colour vary around the world because of the production of a pigment called melanin. One gene in particular, HERC2, is one of the genes responsible for melanin production and its effect can be seen directly from your eye colour. Your FitnessGenes result tells you which version of this gene you carry and what level of melanin you are likely to produce as a result.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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HIF1A

A gene for response to low oxygen

The body uses several proteins to deal with conditions of low oxygen, one of them is HIF1a (coded by the HIF1a gene).  HIF1a controls the activation of genes affecting glucose processing, metabolism, and the formation of red blood cells and blood vessels.  One variant of this gene was found more frequently in weightlifters, while the other was found more frequently in elite endurance athletes and was associated with  a higher increase in VO2 max through aerobic exercise training.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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IGF1

A gene for regular growth/development

The IGF1 gene influences circulating levels of the IGF1 hormone which is necessary for muscle growth and development. Variants have been associated with benefits for strength performance. We test for two variations of the IGF1 gene (IGF1 and IGF1_2), which code for the same protein, but have a slightly different effect on the protein’s function, and ultimately on the physical trait of performance. Your FitnessGenes result will identify how your circulating IGF1 levels are affected and how this impacts on these traits.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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IGF1_2

A gene for normal growth/development

The IGF1 gene influences circulating levels of the IGF1 hormone which is necessary for muscle growth and development. We test for two variations of the IGF1 gene (IGF1 and IGF1_2), which code for the same protein, but have a slightly different effect on the protein’s function, and ultimately on the physical trait of performance. Your FitnessGenes result for IGF1_2 will identify how your circulating IGF1 levels are affected and how this impacts you.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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IGFBP3

A gene for regulating normal growth / development

IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), a hormone that promotes cell growth and cell division in both children and adults, is transported through the blood by a molecule called IGF-binding protein 3 (coded by the IGFBP3 gene). It regulates the activity of IGF1 by protecting it against breakdown and preventing it from binding to its receptor.  Variations in this gene affect the levels of IGFBP-3 and IGF1 and may affect body composition.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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IL15RA

A gene for muscle volume

This gene is linked to the prevention of muscle breakdown as well as lean body mass and can affect how quickly individuals increase their muscle size (hypertrophy). Your FitnessGenes result will tell you whether you have the version associated with muscle size or whether you have the version linked to muscle strength in response to resistance-type training.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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IL6

A gene for inflammation and recovery

The cytokine interleukin 6 (IL6, coded by the IL6 gene) is a signalling molecule that is produced in the muscles during exercise. It is thought to be involved in pro- and anti-inflammatory responses and to help nutrient mobilisation and delivery, making it important for performance and recovery. Variations in the IL6 gene can affect levels of IL6.  One variation has been associated with power athletes and better body composition.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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IL6R

A gene for regulating IL6 activity

The IL6R gene codes for the receptor of the interleukin 6 protein (IL6R) which is found on the surface of cells, as well as circulating freely around the body.  Due to its mobility, IL6R can influence the activity and function of interleukin 6, a molecule involved in pro- and anti-inflammatory responses.  Variations of the IL6R gene have been associated with the metabolic syndrome.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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LCT

A gene for lactose tolerance

Lactose tolerance is the ability to digest the lactose in milk and other everyday dairy products. For the majority of people, tolerance for lactose decreases after infancy, often falling away completely during adulthood. However, for others, due to a genetic variant in their DNA, they are able to continue to tolerate lactose indefinitely. Your FitnessGenes result will tell you whether you are genetically able to tolerate lactose.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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MCT1

A gene for fatigue

Variations in this gene will alter the expression of MCT1 which allows the clearance of lactic acid. This determines the onset of fatigue when exercising. Your FitnessGenes result tells you whether you carry the fast version, slow version or both versions of the lactic acid clearing gene. This will determine how quickly lactic acid accumulates during exercise.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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MSTN

A gene for hypertrophy

Skeletal muscle growth in response to training is determined by genetics, and a rare version of the MSTN gene, which encodes the muscle-limiting protein myostatin, is associated with much greater muscle mass and strength. Your FitnessGenes result tells you which version of this gene you have and how this affects muscle building in response to training.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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MSTNRARE

A gene for unusual muscle size and strength

Skeletal muscle growth is influenced by genetics and myostatin is a protein that can inhibit it. A very rare variation of the gene coding for myostatin (MSTN) results in a complete knock out (loss of function) of the gene, and results in an unusually greater muscle mass and strength. We called this polymorphism the MSTNRARE gene. Your FitnessGenes result tells you whether you have carry the rare myostatin knock-out allele.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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NOS3

A gene for blood flow

Nitric acid synthase 3 (coded by the NOS3 gene) is an enzyme that facilitates the production of nitric oxide (NO). NO is involved in the widening of blood vessels by relaxation of the smooth muscle cells within their walls, which increases blood flow. Variations in the NOS3 gene may affect the predisposition for power/strength performance. These variations may also influence the beneficial effects induced by exercise, such as a lowering of blood triglycerides levels. 

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

PGC1A

A gene for aerobic capacity

As well as being a marker for good health, having a high aerobic capacity enables your body to work harder during prolonged exercise. Some of us are lucky enough to have a naturally high aerobic capacity due to our genes. A variation in the PGC1A gene is associated with greater baseline aerobic fitness. Your FitnessGenes result tells you which version of this gene you have and how it affects you.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

PPARA

A gene for fat burning

The ability to switch use fats as fuel over carbohydrates combined with the distribution of fast and slow-twitch muscle fibres are both important factors affecting endurance performance. The PPARA protein plays a role in these. Your FitnessGenes result tells you whether you have a version of PPARA that is predominant in endurance athletes, power/speed athletes or both.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

PPARG

A gene associated with fat and carb processing

The PPARG protein is a receptor involved in fat storage and glucose metabolism.  Variants of the PPARG gene have been associated with insulin sensitivity, response to saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake and power based activities.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

SHBG1

A gene for testosterone levels

Your result for this gene has been combined with other genes to produce your TESTOSTERONE score.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

SHBG2

A gene for testosterone levels

Your result for this gene has been combined with other genes to produce your TESTOSTERONE score.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

TESTOSTERONE

Genes for testosterone levels

This template uses four of your gene results and the results of a questionnaire to determine your testosterone levels. Testosterone is essential for building muscle and remaining lean. What’s your genetic profile for testosterone?

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

UCP2

A gene for metabolism

Genetic variations in uncoupling proteins are thought to lead to differences in the efficiency of people's metabolism. We test for variations in the UCP2 and UCP3 genes. UCP2 is expressed in many types of cells, amongst them muscle cells, cells of the lymph system and the cells that produce insulin. Your FitnessGenes result tells you which version of UCP2 you have and how you can expect it to affect your metabolism.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

UCP3

A gene for metabolism

Genetic variations in uncoupling proteins are thought to lead to differences in the efficiency of people's metabolism. We test for variations in the UCP2 and UCP3 genes. UCP3 is mainly expressed in skeletal muscles and is involved in fatty acid metabolism and protecting cells from oxidative damage.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

VEGFA

A gene for blood vessel formation

We test for a variation of the VEGFA gene linked to levels of the VEGFA molecule in the blood. This molecule is involved in forming new blood vessels as an adaptation to training. These new blood vessels increase the blood supply to muscles, which can improve endurance. FitnessGenes tell you whether you have a version of this gene that has been associated with endurance.

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

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VDR

A gene for vitamin D processing / activation

Vitamin D influences immunity, bone health and testosterone levels.  The vitamin D receptor (coded for by VDR) is important for  many processes associated with vitamin D.  Variations in the VDR gene that FitnessGenes test for have been associated with skeletal muscle strength.  

We have fully reviewed the impact of this gene and the genetic variant we analyse as part of our scientific research process. You can access more information on this gene and the full citation list on all studies reviewed.

READ MORE

GET GENETICALLY UPGRADED

Remove the guesswork from your training and nutrition

Every day, our team of in-house researchers evaluate peer-reviewed academic literature to further understand the role of fitness related genetics, and how it influences your training and nutrition. Hundreds of papers are reviewed each month, ensuring that FitnessGenes is a source of the most comprehensive and up-to-date information possible.

Our team is composed of PhD scientists and experts in genetics, sports science, biology, and biochemistry. With the team’s combined skillset, our understanding goes beyond genetics, extending to the physiology of how to develop a training protocol and nutritional advantage. Our scientists also engage in prominent academic collaborations to test and further refine our model as well as making sure our recommendations are scientifically sound.

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