Somatotype

Today we would like to introduce an important notion which will help in understanding what type of supplements and nutraceuticals are best suitable for each individual.

We know what we are (the colour of our hair, eyes, skin and features,..) our looks depend on our GENOTYPE meaning the genetic makeup we inherited from our parents.

It is also true that our GENOTYPE changes according to the ENVIRONMENT in which we are and the type of lifestyle and food we choose to eat; this causes GENOTYPE PHENOTYPING, namely the GENOTYPE expression which is put in relation to the environment our body is exposed to causing a specific type of adaptation.

Starting from these two characteristics, at the beginning of the ‘900s, researches identified the SOMATOTYPES, namely the genetic characteristics that bring to the person’s phenotyping. In simple words the tendency a person has in developing specific physical and psychological characteristics according to the environment in which he or she is found.

The somatotype is determined according to person’s anthropometric characteristics. William H. Sheldon, PhD, MD (1940) was the first to introduce the concept of somatotype, realizing each person has within himself one of these three distinct components:

ENDOMORPH
narrow shoulders and wide hips, flaccid body, high body fat levels, viscerotonic (the tendency of accumulating internal fat on the abdomen and hips, lots of power within the body trunk, tends to gain weight as Gynoid or Pear shaped) – Excellent athletes for strength sports and ground combat.
MESOMORPHIC
muscular, mature looks, thick skin, good posture, somatotonic (wide shoulders with high muscle and fat growth levels, the so called Easy Gainer who tends to be overweight as an Android or Apple) – excellent athletes for strength sports and and explosive power.
ECTOMORPH
young looking, tall, not very muscular, intelligent, cerebrotonic (Hard Gainer people who have difficulty in developing muscle but the muscle they have is high in quality and definition, narrow shoulders and having a tendency of accumulating body fat on the abdomen) – excellent endurance athletes and oriental combat sports.

Sheldon also gave psychic traits to these different somatotypes:

  • ENDOMORPH (ingenious, youthful, exuberant, tolerant, lovers of food, social, in need of affection)
  • MESOMORPHIC (brave, sure of themselves, confident, lovers of adventure, risk-loving, greedy for power)
  • ECTOMORPH (shy, meditative, clumsy, anxious, with an artistic mind)

With this knowledge we are ready to understand to the full our inclinations and especially what choices we should make when it comes to training and how to reach our objectives, what type of food to choose and which supplements may be more effective than others, therefore, an awareness on how to take care of our self improving our somatotype limitations and especially enhancing talents we all possess!

dott. Lorenzo Bergami

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