The Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGFA) gene is associated with the synthesis VEGFA, a molecule associated with the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) upon training. This adaptation allows the body to increase supply of nutrients and oxygen to the trained muscles as well as remove waste products. VEGFA is associated indirectly with the widening of blood vessels (vasodilation).  Blood flow to the muscles is increased as VEGFA triggers nitric oxide and other molecules which relax the blood vessels. Specific alleles of this gene are known to either increase or decrease the levels of VEGFA during and after exercise. People with the G variant of the gene were associated with lower level of the protein VEGFA.

Does your 23andme, Ancestry DNA, FTDNA raw data have VEGFA gene variant information?

CHIP VersionVEGFA SNPs
23andMe (Use your 23andme raw data to know your VEGFA Variant)
v1 23andmePresent
v2 23andmePresent
v3 23andmePresent
v4 23andmePresent
V5 23andme (current chip)Present
AncestryDNA  (Use your ancestry DNA raw data to know your VEGFA Variant)
v1 ancestry DNAPresent
V2 ancestry DNA (current chip)Present
Family Tree DNA  (Use your FTDNA raw data to know your VEGFA Variant)
OmniExpress microarray chipPresent

Association with Running:

A study conducted on cyclists showed that people with the C variant of the gene were more common among endurance athletes than non-athletes.

Association with Aerobic Capacity:

People with the C variant of the gene were associated with better aerobic capacity and significant increase in VO2 max after 24 weeks of aerobic training when compared with people with the G variant of the gene.

Genotype rs2010963PhenotypeRecommendation
CC[Advantage] More likely to have higher level of VEGFA on exercising   [Advantage] More likely to significantly improve VO2 max with training [Advantage] More likely to have better aerobic capacity [Advantage] Better enduranceLikely to respond well to aerobic training and endurance training
CGModerate level of VEGFA on exercising and moderate aerobic capacityLikely to respond moderately to aerobic training and endurance training
GG[Limitation] More likely to have lower level of VEGFA on exercising compared to CC   [Limitation] More likely to have lower VO2 max after exercising [Limitation] More likely to have lower aerobic capacity [Limitation] Poor enduranceLikely poor responder to endurance running due to low amount of new blood vessel formation in the targeted muscle. Mild improvements in aerobic capacity and endurance performance on carrying out aerobic fitness training can be expected.

References:

  1. http://ajpheart.physiology.org/content/290/5/H1848.long
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/226018635_Polymorphism_of_the_vascular_endothelial_growth_factor_gene_VEGF_and_aerobic_performance_in_athletes
  3. https://fitnessgenes.com/how-it-works/genes-we-analyze/vegfa/
  4. https://www.dnafit.com/blog/gene_in_focus_-_part_17:_vegf_3353.asp
  5. http://www.genespark.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Example_Fitness_Report.pdf
  6. http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P15692
  7. http://www.medinvita.ch/images/test-medici/FIT_SampleENGLISH.pdf

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.”

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