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.
The ACE gene was the first to be linked to athletic performance and has been one of the most extensively studied genes in sport. It comes in two forms: a long version (the I allele) and a short version (the D allele). Increased endurance potential has been strongly linked with having two copies of the long version (II). In contrast, having two copies of the short version (DD) has been associated with power/strength, although this link does not appear as strong.
The ACE gene is part of a complex hormonal system which affects numerous tissues in our bodies and is important in regulating our blood pressure and fluid balance among many other roles. The fact this system affects multiple tissues makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact effects that the different genotypes are having, but there are trends in the research that help us make our recommendations.
While the effect of the ACE gene seems more pronounced in elite level athletes than in untrained or non-highly trained individuals, the scientific research still gives clues as to how individuals with different ACE genotypes may perform or respond to different types of exercise or training strategies.