Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2009) 08, 410 - 418

Research article
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Genotype Affects Skeletal Muscle Strength In Elite Athletes
Aldo Matos Costa1,2,6, , António José Silva2,3, Nuno Garrido2,3, Hugo Louro2,4, Daniel Almeida Marinho1,2, Mário Cardoso Marques1,2, Luiza Breitenfeld5,6
Author Information
1 University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
2 CIDESD, Vila Real, Portugal
3 University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
4 Sports Science Institute of Rio Maior, Rio Maior, Portugal
5 University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
6 Health Sciences Research Centre, Covilhã, Portugal

Aldo Matos Costa
✉ University of Beira Interior, Department of Sports Sciences, Rua Marquês d’Ávila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 04-02-2009
Accepted: 16-06-2009
Published (online): 01-09-2009
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Previous studies have associated angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) D allele with variability in the skeletal muscle baseline strength, though conclusions have been inconsistent across investigations. The purpose of this study was to examine the possible association between ACE genotype and skeletal muscle baseline strength in elite male and female athletes involved in different event expertise. A group of 58 elite athletes, designated as Olympic candidates, were studied: 35 swimmers (19 males and 16 females, 18.8 ± 3.2 years) and 23 triathletes (15 males and 8 females, 18.7 ± 3.0 years). The athletes were classified as: short (≤ 200m) and middle (400m to 1500m) distance athletes, respectively. For each subject the grip strength in both hands was measure using an adjustable mechanical hand dynamometer. The maximum height in both squat jump (SJ) and counter movement jump (CMJ) were also assessed, using a trigonometric carpet (Ergojump Digitime 1000; Digitest, Jyvaskyla, Finland). DNA extraction was obtained with Chelex 100® and genotype determination by PCR-RFLP methods. Both males and females showed significantly higher right grip strength in D allele carriers compared to II homozygote’s. We found that allelic frequency differs significantly by event distance specialization in both genders (p < 0.05). In fact, sprinter D allele carriers showed the superior scores in nearly all strength measurements (p < 0.05), in both genders. Among endurance athletes, the results also demonstrated that female D allele carriers exhibited the higher performance right grip and CMJ scores (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the ACE D allele seems associated with skeletal muscle baseline strength in elite athletes, being easily identified in females.

Key words: Swimming, triathlon, genetic polymorphism, sport performance

           Key Points
  • DD homozygote’s and D allele carriers from both genders shows significantly higher right grip strength.
  • Right grip strength remains significantly higher in the D allele carrier’s female endurance group.
  • Female’s D allele carriers exhibited the higher performance counter-movement jump scores.
  • ACE genotype effects in skeletal-muscle strength are diverse by gender, being easily identified in females.
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