Why should I test my fitness genes?
You’ve probably noticed that some sports are easier for you than others and that you have been able to improve in them quickly. In other sports, you can’t keep up - no matter how hard you have trained for them. Why is this the case?
There is growing scientific evidence that our athleticism is rooted in our genes. Certain characteristics in your DNA can influence muscles, bones and endurance, among other things. This means that your DNA determines your performance in certain sports, such as your endurance level, how your muscles work and where you might be at risk in terms of your health.
The cerascreen® DNA Fitness Test helps you gain insights into these correlations and advises you on how to adjust your exercise plan and your diet accordingly.
Please note: If the DNA analysis shows you are at greater risk of developing certain diseases, this does not automatically mean that you will develop these illnesses! The genetic predispositions are about probabilities and indicate the possibility of problems emerging. Our fitness and health recommendations are equally useful for people who do not have predispositions.
Who should take the DNA Fitness Test?
The test is an excellent choice for all people who want to achieve high performance in sports without compromising their health. It is also worthwhile for those just starting to do more intensive sports, who want to minimise the risk of injury or optimise their performance right from the start.
If you already experience problems when undertaking sport – for example, frequent muscle injuries, the cerascreen® DNA Fitness Test may be able to help you get to the root of the problem.
How does the DNA Fitness Test work?
For the DNA Fitness Test, take a small saliva samples from the oral mucosa with the cotton swab that is included in the DNA Fitness Test kit. After using the swab, insert the saliva samples into the enclosed sample tubes. Send the saliva samples to our medical partner laboratory by using the free return envelope. The lab will then carry out the analysis based on DNA sequencing.
DNA sequencing is a highly complex, state-of-the-art process. How long the analysis will take depends on the quality of the sample provided - sometimes, the medical laboratory has to repeat the analysis multiple times. Therefore, it can take up to four weeks until you receive your individual test results.
What do I have to consider when I take the test?
The higher the quality of the sample, the faster and more easily the laboratory can analyse it. You can contribute to this by adhering to the following guidelines for taking a saliva sample:
- Do not eat or drink anything for at least half an hour before collecting the saliva sample
- Do not brush your teeth or use mouthwash for at least half an hour before collecting the saliva sample
- Do not smoke within 30 minutes of taking the tests
- The sample must be stored in a dry place for 24 hours before it is sent. During this time, the sample dries via the aeration membrane at the bottom of the sample tube.
What does the results report tell me?
Based on the five analysed genes, the results report provides you with information about your individual genetic characteristics related to your fitness. You will receive possible interpretations and corresponding recommendations for your genetic tendencies.
The following aspects of your fitness are assessed:
- Tendency to develop oxidative stress
- Tendency to bone loss
- Endurance type
- Muscle fibre type
What kind of recommendations will I receive?
You will receive recommendations for each of the genetic characteristics examined, including recommendations for sports that might be particularly suitable for you.
You will also receive general tips for ensuring strong bones and powerful muscles that you can use in your day-to-day life. The recommendations also include tips on nutrition and supplementation, as well as recipes.
What does a tendency to develop oxidative stress mean?
Oxidative stress is present in your body when a large number of so-called free radicals are present. Free radicals are oxygen molecules that can cause inflammation in cells and are thought to promote cardiovascular disease, cancer and skin ageing, among other things.
This oxidative stress can arise from intensive training, for example, and increase the risk of muscle injuries. This may be the result of a genetic predisposition. In this case, it is particularly worthwhile to reduce oxidative stress.
One of the things that can help are the opponents of free radicals, the antioxidants. They protect the cells from the harmful effects of oxidative stress. Antioxidants can be supplied in a targeted way through nutrition; antioxidant nutrients include vitamins C, E and B2, zinc, selenium and iodine, as well as secondary plant compounds.
What does a tendency to bone loss mean?
The gene variants examined in the test indicate how quickly your body breaks down collagen and how actively vitamin D works in your body.
Collagen is a protein that appears most frequently in the body. It is particularly important for connective tissue and bones. To be able to produce collagen, you need certain amino acids and sufficient vitamin C.
Vitamin D, among other things, is needed, so that the gut can sufficiently absorb the mineral calcium. Calcium is essential for strong bones. Therefore, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to a calcium deficiency and thus increase the risk of osteoporosis.
If you have an increased tendency to bone loss, it is particularly recommended that you pay attention to your vitamin D and calcium levels to support your body in the formation of collagen.
What is an endurance type?
Depending on the different gene variants, people show a tendency to have more or less endurance when it comes to sports. If your genetics point to the endurance type, then ball sports and long-distance running, for example, might be suitable for you. Your personal results report will give you several suggestions for sports that fit the identified endurance type of your DNA.
Please note: Even if you are not the endurance type, it would still be a good idea to do at least some endurance training, as it is proven to be good for your cardiovascular health.
What is a muscle fibre type?
Our skeletal muscles consist of numerous muscle fibres that can contract and thus enable us to move our bodies in the first place. The skeletal muscle fibres can be classified according to how quickly and powerfully they can contract. There are:
- Slow-twitch muscle fibres (type I)
- Fast-twitch muscle fibres (type II)
- Intermediate-twitch fibres (type III)
You have all these muscle fibre types in your body, but one particular type is usually prevalent than the others. Indications of this can be found in the gene variants examined in the DNA test.
The muscles of people who have mainly slow-twitch muscle fibres, for example, tend to exhaust only slowly during sports. In this case, the muscles are particularly suitable for long-distance running, cycling and endurance swimming.
Fast-twitch muscle fibres, on the other hand, become tired quicker, while also twitching more quickly and powerfully. They are helpful for sprinting and gymnastics, for example.
Which genes are being analysed?
The cerascreen® DNA Fitness Test uses modern biotechnology to examine certain variants of five genes. These gene variants are also called genotypes.
Here, we present the genes and genotypes:
- SOD2: The genotype studied can lead to the two genes being produced in lower amounts. This affects the coding of certain antioxidants. The risk of oxidative stress could then be increased.
- CoI1A1: The genotype studied is related to the formation of collagen and an increase in bone loss.
- VDR: The genotype studied is related to the activity of vitamin D in the body and a decrease in bone density.
- ADRB3: The genotype studied is related to the control of fat metabolism and endurance levels in sports.
- ACTN3: The genotype studied is related to how fast your muscle fibres contract.
For whom is the DNA Fitness Test not suitable?
The DNA Fitness Test
is not suitable for or is only suitable for certain groups of people:
People with contagious diseases, like hepatitis, are not allowed to take the DNA Metabolism Test.
breastfeeding women should only carry out the DNA Metabolism Test under medical supervision. The reference values and recommendations do not apply to them, so they should obtain recommendations on the test result from their doctor.
The DNA Metabolism Test is not suitable for children under the age of 18.
The test is not intended for diagnosing diseases. For example, if you experience unexplainable weight loss or obesity, you should consult a doctor.