Masters Athletes: Finger length ratios and muscle mass.

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Muscle mass decreases with age.  Loss of muscle mass may begin as early as the Mid-20s.  However the rate of loss increases once a person passes the age of 60 or 65.  Good news is that resistance training and exercise increases muscle anabolic response.  An increase in protein may also be called for.  (see our last article).

Finger length ratios and muscle mass.

People may be more or less likely to lose strength and muscle mass as they age.  One of the factors that may be important is the amount of androgens (testosterone) you were exposed to before birth (Halil et al. 2013).  Not much that can be done about this now.  Other than to keep working out.  But it might help to know if you needed to keep more of an eye out.  And take care to protect yourself by maintaining strength and fitness.

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The ratio of the index finger to the ring finger is used as a measure of pre-natal androgen exposure.  (that’s androgens, such as testosterone, before birth).  The longer your index finger is than your ringer finger = the more testosterone your were exposed to before birth.  New research indicates the longer your ring finger the stronger you are likely to be in old age.  A longer ring finger is also associated with better math skills and higher risk of autism.  Ratio of these fingers is also associated with bunch of other interesting things. Like success in sumo wrestling (Tamiya et al. 2012).  

Tamiya, R., Lee, S., & Ohtake, F. (2012). Second to fourth digit ratio and the sporting success of sumo wrestlers Evolution and Human Behavior, 33 (2), 130-136 DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2011.07.003

Halil, M., Gurel, E., Kuyumcu, M., Karaismailoglu, S., Yesil, Y., Ozturk, Z., Yavuz, B., Cankurtaran, M., & Arıogul, S. (2013). Digit (2D:4D) ratio is associated with muscle mass (MM) and strength (MS) in older adults: Possible effect of in utero androgen exposure Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 56 (2), 358-363 DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.11.003  

Giffin NA, Kennedy RM, Jones ME, & Barber CA (2012). Varsity athletes have lower 2D:4D ratios than other university students. Journal of sports sciences, 30 (2), 135-8 PMID: 22132823

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