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Know Your Genes: VDR “The Sunshine Vitamin Gene”

The Vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene is associated with the synthesis of Vitamin D receptor, a cell membrane receptor that binds to vitamin D. Specific alleles of this gene are known to either increase or decrease the sensitivity of the body to the effects of Vitamin D. This receptor is involved in the intestinal transport of calcium, iron and other minerals. Variants of the gene are shown to be associated with changes in the levels of vitamin D levels and power.

Vitamin D plays an important role in stimulating calcium absorption and also in bone mineralization by promoting osteoblast differentiation.

Association with Vitamin D levels:

The taq1 polymorphism (rs731236) of the VDR gene is associated with Vitamin D levels among Indians. People with the T variant of the gene were associated with lower serum vitamin D levels.

Association with Power:

A study conducted on identifying hand grip strength, which is a indicative of muscle strength, showed that there was a significant association between taq1 polymorphism and muscle strength. People with the C variant of the gene are found to be better at power based activities than endurance.

 

Genotype

rs731236

Phenotype

Recommendations

CC

[Advantage] More likely to have higher Vitamin D levels

[Advantage] Better muscle growth and bone density on strength training

  • Likely normal levels of vitamin D
  • Include vitamin D rich food in the diet like fish and eggs
  • Include strength and power training in the fitness regimen
CTModerate Vitamin D level
TT

[Limitation] More likely to have lower Vitamin D levels

[Limitation] Lower level of muscle growth and bone density on strength training

  • Likely lower vitamin D levels
  • Spend time outdoors under the sun and include vitamin D rich foods in the diet

 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16159929
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11684540
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15012617
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22681928
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5068478/

Find out which variation of the gene you carry and more at www.xcode.in

“Nutrigenetics, fitness genetics, health genetics are all nascent but rapidly growing areas within human genetics. The information provided herein is based on preliminary scientific studies and it is to be read and understood in that context.”

Amrita Surendranath
Amrita Surendranath
Amrita has a Masters in Human Genetics which fuelled her passion for genes and their diktats. She loves converting genetic research into exciting scientific news with a punch. 10 years on, her interesting insights have covered a range of topics that include cancer, diabetes, nutrition, fitness and more. A pulse on what’s interesting aids in decoding laboratory data into useful science that could empower people into molding healthier lifestyles.