New Research Uncovers the Role of Genetics in Muscle Strength


Osteopathy exercise
New research in Finland has explored if humans have a genetic predisposition for higher muscle strength.

The comprehensive study looked into the relationship between hereditary muscle strength and morbidity.

Muscle strength is vital for independence, preventing injuries, metabolic health, resilience with age, managing chronic conditions, and bone health.

The strength of our muscles, particularly the grip in our hands, can serve as a vital marker of our body’s resilience against age-related ailments and disabilities. In fact, the study found that high muscle strength predicts a longer lifespan and a lower risk of developing common diseases. 

Research suggests, the decline in muscle strength as we age varies from person to person, is shaped not just by lifestyle choices but also by genetic factors.

Genetic factors such as variations in the myostatin gene (MSTN), insulin-like growth factor 1 gene (IGF-1), and androgen receptor gene (AR) can profoundly influence an individual’s muscle mass and strength. 

The study revealed that individuals with a genetic predisposition for higher muscle strength have a slightly lower risk for common noncommunicable diseases and premature mortality. However, it did not predict better survival after acute adverse health events compared to the time before illness onset.

“It seems that a genetic predisposition for higher muscle strength reflects more on an individual’s intrinsic ability to resist and protect oneself against pathological changes that occur during ageing than the ability to recover or completely bounce back after severe adversity,” says doctoral researcher Päivi Herranen from the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences.

Given how important muscle is for our health, the best way to maintain it after 30 is to keep moving. Discover how to maintain muscle after middle age here. 




Print Recipe


Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe. 

Member Login