The Science Overview

We are all different and this is mainly due to our genes. There are the differences that we all see like eyes and hair colour, but then there are the differences inside – how we metabolise nutrients for example, the way we deal with toxins – we all interact with the environment in our own unique way.

The Science Overview


A healthy diet contributes to a long and healthy life, but exactly what is a healthy diet? Is it the same for everyone? No. One size does not fit all and one diet. Nutrigenetics involves the study of how individual genetic variation affects interaction with components of the diets, including micro & macronutrients and toxins.


Sports Genetics

Having the ability to know our own personal genetics is exceptional in many ways, but as with every strand of the current trend for the ‘quantifiable self’, caution must be exercised, as the value of this knowledge can be all too easily overstated. When it comes to DNA, understanding our genes is indeed an extremely important step...

The Science Overview

Understanding DNA Fitness Diet Pro System

Here are Some of the Genes that DNA Fitness Pro Test for:



Search for relevant literature, mainly via Pubmed and Google Scholar. Initial selection will be hundreds of abstracts.



Sort through the abstracts selecting according to relevance. Reasonable size study - Reputable journal - Showing evidence of gene and environment effects.



Get the papers to study. The aim is to establish the scientific validity of the gene x environment interaction and then the health or personal utility of the intervention.



A genetic variant is included if the evidence is clear regarding the gene x environment effect, if the environment (e.g. diet or training) can be modified with a positive effect, and if the effect must be repeated in separate studies, at least 3x.

The studies behind the science

Genes, athlete status and training - an overview


by Ildus I. Ahmetov, Viktor A. Rogozkin

Significant data confirming the influence of genes on human physical performance and elite athlete status have been accumulated in recent years. Research of gene variants that may explain differences in physical capabilities and training-induced effects between subjects is widely carried out. In this review, the findings of genetic studies investigating DNA polymorphisms and their association with elite athlete status and training responses are reported. A literature search revealed that at least 36 genetic markers (located within 20 autosomal genes, mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome) are linked to elite athlete status and 39 genetic markers (located within 19 genes and mitochondrial DNA) may explain, in part, an interindividual variability of physical performance characteristics in response to endurance/strength training. Although more replication studies are needed, the preliminary data suggest an opportunity to use some of these genetic markers in an individually tailored prescription of lifestyle/exercise for health and sports performance.

Genetic risk factors for musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries


by Malcolm Collinsa, Stuart M. Raleigh

Acute and overuse musculoskeletal soft tissues injuries are common as a result of participating in specific physical or workplace activities. Multiple risk factors, including genetic factors, are implicated in the aetiology of these injuries. Common musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries for which a genetic contribution has been proposed include the Achilles tendon in the heel, the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder and the cruciate ligaments in the knee. Recent developments in the identification of genetic risk factors for tendon and ligament injuries will be reviewed. Sequence variants within genes that encode for several tendon and/or ligament extracellular matrix proteins have been shown to be associated with specific musculoskeletal soft tissues injuries. Variants within the TNC, COL5A1 and MMP3 genes co-segregate with chronic Achilles tendinopathy. The variant within the TNC gene also appears to co-segregate with Achilles tendon ruptures, while sequence variants within the COL1A1 and COL5A1 genes have been shown to be associated with cruciate ligament ruptures and/or shoulder dislocations. Whether these variants are directly involved in the development of these musculoskeletal soft tissue abnormalities or in strong linkage disequilibrium with actual disease-causing loci remains to be established. We proposed that genetic risk factors will in the future be included in multifactorial models developed to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries or related pathology. Clinicians could eventually use these models to develop personalised training programmes to reduce the risk of injury as well as to develop treatment and rehabilitation regimens for the injured individual.

Variants within the COL5A1 gene are associated with Achilles tendinopathy in two populations


by A V September, J Cook, C J Handley, L van der Merwe, M P Schwellnus, M Collins


A COL5A1 gene variant was shown to be associated with chronic Achilles tendinopathy in a South African population. The aim of this case–control genetic association study was to investigate the BstUI and DpnII restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) in a second population from Australia and to identify a predisposing haplotype for Achilles tendinopathy in both populations.


85 Australian and 93 South African patients with tendinopathy, as well as 210 Australian and 132 white South African control subjects were genotyped for the BstUI (rs12722) and DpnII (rs13946) RFLP, as well as markers rs10858286, rs3196378, rs11103544, rs4504708 and rs3128575.


The BstUI RFLP (p,0.001) and marker rs3196378 (p = 0.016) were associated with chronic Achilles tendinopathy in Australian subjects. Individuals within both populations with a CC genotype for the BstUI RFLP had a significantly decreased risk of developing tendinopathy versus any other genotypes (Australian odds ratio 0.42, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.86, p = 0.017). The TC inferred haplotype (rs12722, rs3196378) was found to be overrepresented (global p = 0.008) in the South African tendinopathy group compared with all other haplotypes.


The BstUI RFLP is associated with chronic Achilles tendinopathy in a second population and a region within the COL5A1 39 untranslated region may predispose individuals to an increased risk of developing chronic Achilles tendinopathy.

Genetic research in modern sport


by Agata Leonska-Duniec

Sport genomics is a comparatively new scientific discipline concentrating on the organization and functioning of the genome of elite athletes. It seems to be the most promising tool for sport selection, individualization of the training process, sport traumatology, and also in illegal ‘gene doping’. With genotyping more available, research of gene variants’ influence on several phenotype traits related to physical performance have been widely carried out worldwide. This review not only summarizes the current findings of sport genomics study of molecular markers, their association with athlete status and training responses, but it also explores future trends and possibilities. The importance of genetics in modern sport increases every year. However, the recent studies still represent only the first steps towards a better understanding of the genetic factors that influence human physical abilities, and therefore continuing studies are necessary.

Genetic testing in exercise and sport


by A.G. Williams, S.M. Heffernan, S.H. Day

The general consensus amongst sport and exercise genetics researchers is that genetic tests based on current knowledge have little or no role to play in talent identification or the individualised prescription of training to maximise performance or minimise injury risk. Despite this, genetic tests related to sport and exercise are widely available on a commercial basis. This study assessed commercially-available genetic tests related to sport and exercise currently marketed via the internet. Twenty-two companies were identified as providing direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests marketed in relation to human sport or exercise performance or injury. The most commonly-tested variant was the R577X SNP in the ACTN3 gene, tested by 85% of the 13 companies that appear to present information about their genetic tests on websites – which corresponds with our assessment that ACTN3 R577X is currently the polymorphism with the strongest scientific evidence in support of an association with sport and exercise phenotypes. 54% of companies that present information about their genetic tests used panels of 2-21 variants, including several with very limited supporting scientific evidence. 46% of companies tested just a single variant, with very low ability to explain complex sport and exercise phenotypes. It is particularly disappointing that 41% of companies offering DTC genetic tests related to exercise and sport did not appear to state publicly the genetic variants they assess, making scrutiny by academic scholars and consumers impossible. Companies offering DTC genetic tests related to sport and exercise should ensure that they are responsible in their activities.

Genetic influence on athletic performance


by Lisa M. Guth and Stephen M. Roth

Purpose of review

To summarize the existing literature on the genetics of athletic performance, with particular consideration for the relevance to young athletes.

Recent findings

Two gene variants, ACE I/D and ACTN3 R577X, have been consistently associated with endurance (ACE I/I) and power-related (ACTN3 R/R) performance, though neither can be considered predictive. The role of genetic variation in injury risk and outcomes is more sparsely studied, but genetic testing for injury susceptibility could be beneficial in protecting young athletes from serious injury. Little information on the association of genetic variation with athletic performance in young athletes is available; however, genetic testing is becoming more popular as a means of talent identification. Despite this increase in the use of such testing, evidence is lacking for the usefulness of genetic testing over traditional talent selection techniques in predicting athletic ability, and careful consideration should be given to the ethical issues surrounding such testing in children.


A favorable genetic profile, when combined with an optimal training environment, is important for elite athletic performance; however, few genes are consistently associated with elite athletic performance, and none are linked strongly enough to warrant their use in predicting athletic success.

The BASES expert statement on genetic research and testing in sport and exercise science


by Dr A. Williams, Pr A. Miah, Pr R. Harris, Pr H. Montgomery and Dr H. Wackerhage

Differences in the DNA sequence between humans are responsible for much of the variation in sport- and exercise-related traits. For example, the heritability (the proportion of phenotypic variation in a population which is due to inter-individual genetic variation) may be as high as 50% for maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) (Bouchard et al., 1998) and its trainability (Bouchard et al., 1999). However, we know comparatively little about the molecular variations in the DNA sequence that add up to the often 50% or more estimated heritability for major sport- and exercise-related traits such as cardiovascular fitness, strength, maximal-intensity exercise ability and muscle fibre composition (reviewed in Hagberg et al., 2011), although the science is progressing. Consequently, an era where genetic testing in sport and exercise contexts becomes commonplace is approaching, and this raises several ethical concerns. This statement summarises an original BASES position stand on this topic (Williams et al., 2007).

Here’s how it works

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Collect your saliva samples with the provided collection kit and send them to our laboratory for analysis.

We provide you with a personal report in approximately 3 weeks after receipt of your samples.


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