What is the COL1A1 Gene?
COL1A1 produces alpha 1 chain of type I collagen, a major protein in tendons and ligaments. ACL ruptures are considered the most severe injury sustained in sports. According to this study, the gene encoding for the alpha1 chain of type I collagen (COL1A1) has been shown to be associated with cruciate ligament ruptures and shoulder dislocations.
The T variant produces more COL1A1. Two TT’s10x reduced risk of ACL rupture, while only 5% have two TT’s. Consider the following:
- Approximately 30-75% of runners and 50-75% of triathletes are injured each year.
- 0.03% (2 sec) of total race time separated 3 medalists in the Women’s triathlon at the 2012 London Olympics.
- 159 MLB players injured in 2013, costing 602 million in salaries (18.9% of total MLB payroll). 100,000-250,000 ACL reconstructions per year costing 1.7-6.25 billion in direct healthcare costs.
- Seventy-five percent of the track team at Stanford get injured.
How to Improve the COL1A1 Gene Function
There are at least fourteen different types of collagen. Five most common include:
1. Type I: Makes up the fibers found in connective tissues of the skin, bone, teeth, tendons, and ligaments.
2. Type II: Round fibers found in cartilage.
3. Type III: Forms connective tissues that give shape and strength to organs, such as the liver, heart, kidneys, etc.
4. Type IV: Forms sheets that lie between layers of cells in the blood vessels, muscles, and eye.
Vitamin C, lysine, glycine and proline may be required in higher amounts in those with poor collagen production, which is the majority of the population. This could also have implications for heart, kidney and liver health, and the repair of blood vessels, bruises, and broken bones.
The Nutrition Genome Report can help you discover what your vitamin C, lysine, glycine and proline requirements are to help lower injury probability based on variants in the COL1A1 gene.
1. Stanford Genetic Testing for Sports Injury Lecture
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