Science FAQ

Why genetics?

Since the late 1990s new and improved laboratory and computing equipment has allowed the rate of genetic discoveries to growth nearly exponentially. In this time the study of how genetics influences a person’s physical traits, association studies, has focused on genes with the greatest influence (as these were easier to identify).

Recent advances have dramatically decreased the time and cost of performing large genetic association studies. This has allowed researchers the opportunity to examine more complicated genetic associations and validate, with greater accuracy, past findings.

What is an Athletigen kit?

Through a simple saliva sample, Athletigen will assesses your genetic traits related to athleticism, nutrition, and sports psychology. We analyze your DNA to find specific gene markers related to athletic and nutritional response traits.

What will I learn from my Athletigen DNA profile?

You will have a comprehensive understanding of how your genes relate to your fitness, response to diet, and supplementation. If you’re a coach, you’ll learn how to apply our genetic research to the training and diet programs of your athletes so that they can perform at their highest potential. Visit the performance, nutrition, and recovery pages for more info.

How reliable are Athletigen results?

Athletic ability is influenced by genetic factors, but environmental components (i.e. what genes can’t control) also play a significant role. No DNA test will be able to define exactly what kind of athlete a person will be are or determine one’s “athletic potential.”

Does this mean I can use my genetic profile to determine all of my sport related traits?

The outcomes and associations that we present for each genotype are statistical in nature and should be view as a contributors to traits rather than controllers. Our research team have determined the most likely outcome based on an in-depth evaluation of published scientific research. Many other factors, including other genes, gene interactions, and environmental factors can influence your physical traits. The contribution of one genetic marker represents only a small percentage of the factors influencing a given trait. For some individuals this small percentage may be enough to result in an observable difference.

There are a few additional caveats that you should be aware of:

1.    Published genetics research studies do not always agree with each other or provide the same results. We incorporate this in our scientific confidence (see below), and provide you with the details of the studies we use in constructing these outcomes.

2.    Not all individuals with a particular genotype respond in identical ways due to other genetic or non-genetic (environmental) factors. However, the studies referenced indicate that the outcomes provided in your profile are the most likely outcome to apply to an individual based on that genotype or set of genotypes.

3.    Furthermore individuals from different genetic population groups (which are roughly equivalent to ethnicities) may also not have the same results in similar genetic studies. Where possible we also state what populations a particular genetic effect has been studied in and whether those results were positive or negative.

How are the confidence grades determined for each marker?

Sports genetics is an exciting new aspect of genetic research. Like any new field, this means that the information that is available to you and our research team is ever-expanding. As we expand upon the genetic markers included in your profile we will be highlighting new research and updating our confidence in each genetic marker.

Prior to any new release, the research team at Athletigen employs an exhaustive research evaluation to determine the strengths and weakness of any associations between a genetic marker and an observable trait. Associations that are supported by many studies are given higher confidence grades when compared to those supported by only one study (see our grading scheme for additional information).

You should not consider your results to be a diagnosis, ever.

Athletigen’s genetic tests are not considered diagnostic in nature. If you have particular health concerns consult your physician. In most cases the reported outcomes represent a normal range of human physiology and do not represent abnormal, deficient, or disease traits. While some may indicate a lack of functioning protein (ACTN3) or enzyme, those individuals are typically normal and healthy. Concerns about specific levels of vitamins, cholesterol, blood glucose, insulin, or other factors that may be measured in reference to health and disease should be discussed with your doctor, particularly before enacting extreme changes in lifestyle.

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