European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 106, Issue 6, pp 785–790

Association between ACE D allele and elite short distance swimming

  • Aldo Matos Costa
  • António José Silva
  • Nuno Domingos Garrido
  • Hugo Louro
  • Ricardo Jacó de Oliveira
  • Luiza Breitenfeld
Original Article


The influence of ACE gene on athletic performance has been widely explored, and most of the published data refers to an I/D polymorphism leading to the presence (I allele) or absence (D allele) of a 287-bp sequence in intron 16, determining ACE activity in serum and tissues. A higher I allele frequency has been reported among elite endurance athletes, while the D allele was more frequent among those engaged in more power-orientated sports. However, on competitive swimming, the reproducibility of such associations is controversial. We thus compared the ACE genotype of elite swimmers with that of non-elite swimming cohort and of healthy control subjects. We thus sought an association of the ACE genotype of elite swimmers with their competitive distance. 39 Portuguese Olympic swimming candidates were classified as: short (<200 m) and middle (400–1,500 m) distance swimmers, respectively. A group of 32 non-elite swimmers were studied and classified as well, and a control group (n = 100) was selected from the Portuguese population. Chelex 100 was used for DNA extraction and genotype was determined by PCR-RFLP methods. We found that ACE genotype distribution and allelic frequency differs significantly by event distance only among elite swimmers (P ≤ 0.05). Moreover, the allelic frequency of the elite short distance swimmers differed significantly from that of the controls (P = 0.021). No associations were found between middle distance swimmers and controls. Our results seem to support an association between the D allele and elite short distance swimming.


Genetic polymorphisms Angiotensin converting enzyme Sports performance Swimming 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aldo Matos Costa
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • António José Silva
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nuno Domingos Garrido
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hugo Louro
    • 2
    • 4
  • Ricardo Jacó de Oliveira
    • 5
  • Luiza Breitenfeld
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Sports ScienceUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal
  2. 2.Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human DevelopmentVila RealPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Sports, Exercise and Health SciencesUniversity of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  4. 4.Sports Science Institute of Rio MaiorRio MaiorPortugal
  5. 5.Catholic University of BrasiliaBrasiliaBrazil
  6. 6.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal
  7. 7.CICS, Health Sciences Research CentreCovilhãPortugal

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