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20% of People Have a Genetic Mutation That Provides Superior Resilience to Cold

Almost one in five people lack the protein α-aktinin-3 in their muscle fiber. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now show that more of the skeletal muscle of these individuals comprises slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are more durable and energy-efficient and provide better tolerance to low temperatures than fast-twitch muscle fibers. The results are published in the scientific journal The American Journal of Human Genetics.

Skeletal muscle comprises fast-twitch (white) fibers that fatigue quickly and slow-twitch (red) fibers that are more resistant to fatigue. The protein α-aktinin-3, which is found only in fast-twitch fibers, is absent in almost 20 percent of people – almost 1.5 billion individuals – due to a mutation in the gene that codes for it. In evolutionary terms, the presence of the mutated gene increased when humans migrated from Africa to the colder climates of central and northern Europe.

Please read the fulle article @ SciTechDaily