Research Alert

Newswise — A study recently published in the international scientific Journal of Cellular Physiology is the result of a collaboration between the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO), a team of Italian researchers, and the Medical Staff of the SSC Napoli, one of the leading soccer clubs in Italy’s Serie A league. 

The article, "Genomic analysis reveals association of specific SNPs with athletic performance and susceptibility to injuries in professional soccer players," reports the impact of the personalized training programs and nutritional regimes adopted by physicians and trainers of the SSC Napoli in improving athletic performance and reducing the incidence of physical injuries. The results obtained were also confirmed in reports published by the Serie A league and by UEFA, which confirm that the SSC Napoli soccer players are among the “healthiest” in Europe. Moreover, the study also evaluated the presence of polymorphisms in five genes that intrinsically predispose toward a specific activity or to injuries, and in genes that can be externally modulated, for instance through specific nutrient supplementation.

The genomic variation profiling in the S.S.C. Naples soccer team uncovered that the potential genetic hindrances in some genes were minimized at least in part by the training and nutritional program designed by the team’s medical staff, thus explaining the excellent performance obtained by the team.

Dr. Alfonso De Nicola confirms: "This study represents an added value to the personalization of the athletic preparation that projects us fully towards the sports medicine of the third millennium.” The hypothesis reported suggest that the combination of appropriate training, adapted to the genetic and nutritional profile of each athlete, can in principle be a way to achieve elite athletic status and performance. 

Prof. Antonio Giordano, director of the Sbarro Health Research Organization, emphasizes: "The new medicine of sport is becoming a specialty that increasingly takes into consideration the genetic differences of athletes."

Dr. Raffaele Canonico concludes saying, "these parameters could be fundamental to adopt specific strategies aimed to improve, not only sports performance, but above all to protect the health of the athletes and make their careers more lasting."

About the Sbarro Health Research Organization

The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) is non-profit charity committed to funding excellence in basic genetic research to cure and diagnose cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other chronic illnesses and to foster the training of young doctors in a spirit of professionalism and humanism. To learn more about the SHRO please visit

Journal Link: Journal of Cellular Physiology

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Journal of Cellular Physiology