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A Case-Control Study Investigating the Effect of MTHFR C677T Variant on Performance of Elite Athletes


Ayse Feyda Nursal*, Serbulent Yigit, Husniye Rustemoglu and Abdullah Cenikli   Pages 1 - 6 ( 6 )


Objective: Increased level of plasma homocysteine (Hcy) is a potential risk factor for several multi-system diseases. The Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene C677T variant has been established as an important genetic determinant of hyperhomocysteinemia. There are conflicting reports about the effects of physical activity on plasma Hcy. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate whether the MTHFR C677T variant affects the elite athletic performance.

Methods: This study was carried out on 214 individuals (114 elite athletes and 100 sedentary controls). Genotyping was performed using PCR- RFLP method. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the strength of association.

Results: There was a significant difference between the athletes and the control group in genotype distribution and allele frequency of the MTHFR C677T variant. MTHFR C677T CC genotype and C allele were more prevalent in elite athletes than those in the sedentary controls (p =0.007, OR: 2.16, 95%:1.26-3.70; p=0.009, OR: 1.84, 95%:1.18-2.89, respectively). The control group had a higher MTHFR C677T CT genotype than the athletes had (p=0.019, OR: 0.51, 95%:0.30-0.88). There was no deviation from HWE for the MTHFR C677T variant in the groups.

Conclusion: Our findings support that there is an association between the MTHFR C677T C allele and athletic performance among the elite Turkish athletes.


Sport performance, MTHFR, C677T, variant.


Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Hitit University, Çorum, Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Gaziosmanpasa University, Tokat, Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Gaziosmanpasa University, Tokat, Department of Couching, School of Physical Education and Sports, Gaziosmanpasa University, Tokat

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