Is there a weight lifting strength gene and can it increase the effectiveness of steroids?

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Researchers have isolated a genetic variant that has a strong correlation with success in power sports such as sprinting and weightlifting.

The ACTN3 gene encodes a protein called α-actinin-3, which is found within the fast-twitch fibers of muscle—a necessity for generating rapid, forceful contraction in activities such as sprinting and weightlifting.

Many studies involving small samples of Olympic-caliber athletes…have found varying levels of performance enhancement, with a consensus emerging that the presence of 577R [a version of the ACTN3 gene] can explain roughly two to three percent of the variance in strength and sport performance among the general population.

ACTN3 is only a tiny piece of the puzzle in terms of muscular development. A far greater mystery,but one which scientists have repeatedly refused to explore, on ethical grounds, is whether certain humans have a genetic predisposition to tolerate enormous doses of anabolic substances and other performance-enhancing drugs.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: When It Comes to Weightlifting, Genetics Can Do a Lot of the Heavy Lifting

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia