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Snips about SNPs: ACTN3 (muscle type gene)

The ACTN3 gene codes for a type of muscle fiber found in fast-twitch skeletal muscles. These are the muscle fibers that produce explosive, powerful contractions. Think Olympic sprinters and powerlifters…

About 25% of Caucasians have a non-functioning ACTN3 genetic variant. If you carry this variant, it doesn’t mean that you can’t lift weights or run, but you may be at a slight disadvantage if you are an elite power athlete.  In fact, most Olympic sprinters and powerlifters carry the functional ACTN3 variant. Marathon and long-distance runners are more likely to carry the non-functioning version.[ref][ref]

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Check your genetic data for rs1815739 (23andMe v4, v5; AncestryDNA):

  • C/C: functioning ACTN3 gene, optimal for elite power athletes
  • C/T: functioning ACTN3 gene, optimal for elite power athletes
  • T/T: non-functioning ACTN3 gene, more likely to be an endurance athlete than power athlete (in elite athletes)

Members: Your genotype for rs1815739 is .

Want to know more details? Read the full article on the ACTN3 gene function.

*SNP stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, which is when one of the nucleotide bases (the A, C, G, or Ts) is replaced by a different nucleotide base in a gene.  

Want more quick bits about your genes? Read through all the Snips about SNPs

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About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.