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.


Global population distribution:

Source: 1000 Genome Project. Global averages for both sexes







More about IL6


IL6 is a cytokine that is involved in inflammatory responses within the immune system, and in the regulation of metabolic, regenerative, and neural processes.

In response to infection, inflammation, or trauma; cytokine IL6 plays a role in pathophysiological responses of the immune system, mainly as the first line of defence, and it minimises the level of damage caused.

In muscles and adipose tissue, the release of IL6 has both pro and anti-inflammatory impacts and is an essential component for muscle repair, may contribute to hypertrophy, and could be involved in glucose and lipid metabolism.

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