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Can a gene test tell me how to train or eat?

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When you are physically active, processes and nerve signals are activated in your body. Each workout leads to hundreds of genes in your cells being activated, and when you train regularly it will contribute to your body gradually adapting to the training and you will reap a lot of positive effects.


Relatively new research shows that, depending on which different gene types you have, they will answer differently to varying training. A vision within this type of research is to be able to create tailored training programs based on a DNA analysis. So far, the research still has a long way to go if it ever gets this far. We will of course learn more and more about how genes co-operate with each other, but there are so many more factors that will affect how your body answers to the training.


There are several commercial gene tests on the market already that claim to be able reveal your muscular properties, how you should train or if you should eat in a special way. The tricky thing is that from these tests we have no idea of how active the gene being tested is, the test only shows there is a certain variation. Just because you inherit the pre-requisites for quick and explosive muscles doesn’t mean that you actually will become fast and explosive. Hundreds of genes co-operate with each other and it is highly unlikely that specific genes can predict your achievements or how you should eat to feel better.


Your heritage, environment and lifestyle factors such as training, food habits, obesity, stress and smoking can all affect if genes are activated or not. But with a healthy lifestyle specific “good” genes are actively to greater proportion.


So, do I need to do a gene test to define what the optimal training or diet for me is? The easy answer is NO, you do not. All exercise is good for you and with a varied diet you will go far. You will probably be able to notice which training gives you the best results and which diet keeps you healthy, happy and keep you from gaining weight.


To summarize, there is a better way to spend both your money and time. Why not book an lunch-training session with a colleague tomorrow?

The gene tests described in this health tip should not be confused with the health care tests used to diagnostics or gene tests used to identify certain medical conditions.

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About the authors Jessica & Maria

Challengize health tips are written for us by Jessica Norrbom and Maria Ahlsén, both with PHDs in medicine. Since 2013 they run their own business Fortasana working mainly with diet, training and health from a scientific perspective. Maria and Jessica have written several books and regularly lecture focusing mainly on popular health myths and explain what is actually true from a scientific perspective when it comes to diets, trends and newspaper headlines.

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