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OTC Home Test

Home DNA Test Kit for Muscle Type

1 test per pack

RRP: £29.99. Save £10 (34%).

£ 19.99 per test | In Stock

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About Muscle Types

Different genes, different muscles

Are you training for long distance running or cycling? Or are you looking for the explosive power needed for the 100 metre sprint or weight-lifting? Information about your muscle properties provides you with the information to choose the sports to which you are best suited and to optimise your training by knowing how your muscles will react. Since muscle development is controlled by your genetic makeup, it means that if two people train and eat in exactly the same way, their muscles and performance will develop differently, depending on their gene type.

The ACTN 3 gene and Muscle Type

The major protein components of skeletal muscle are Actin and Myosin that are arranged together in filaments called myofibrils. The Actin filaments in the myofibrils are stabilised by Actin Binding Proteins or Actinins that separate the filaments allowing them to glide between each other during muscle contraction. This muscle is made up of two types of fibres: slow twitch and fast twitch. Whereas slow twitch muscle fibres are very efficient and can work continuously for long periods, it is your fast twitch fibres that are responsible for generating the short, explosive bursts of power needed in sports such as sprinting and weight lifting.

There are two types of Actinins in the body; Actinin 2 and Actinin 3, which are controlled by the ACTN2 and ACTN3 genes. The ACTN3 is the gene responsible for making Actinin 3, which is found almost exclusively in fast twitch muscle fibres.

The gene exists in two different versions with the ‘C’ base in the DNA code being substituted for a ‘T’ base. The ACTN3 gene version that you have determines how much Actinin 3 protein you have present in your fast twitch muscle fibres.

The C base version, more often known as the R allele, results in a fully functioning ACTN3 gene that produces lots of the Actinin 3 protein. The alternative T base version, known as the X allele, puts a premature stop to the growing protein chain, resulting in a non-functional form of Actinin 3 protein. Studies have shown that the presence of Actinin 3 is associated with an improvement in muscle strength and sprint performance. As a result, sprint and power athletes almost always have at least one copy of the R allele.

Having the alternative XX genotype may give you a different kind of advantage, as studies have shown that the frequency of the X version is significantly higher in endurance athletes. This suggests the X version provides an advantage for slow, efficient muscle performance. It means that your muscles have more of an endurance profile and are better able to use oxygen in energy production. This is important when your muscles need to work for long periods of time as in sports, such as cycling or marathon running.