2% of Europeans and almost all East Asians lack gene for underarm odor

Discussion in 'Politics' started by IMFTrader, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. All Blacks, South Asians and Arabs have the "smelly armpit gene". Most Whites also have it.

    East Asians are the only race without it. The majority of East Asians don't have smelly sweat whereas a minority of Whites don't have smelly sweat.

    People without Gene for Underarm Odor Still Wear Deodorant

    For most, putting on deodorant is a necessary ritual on par with brushing teeth or washing hands. But for people who produce no armpit stench, it is totally unnecessary.

    Despite that, nearly three-quarters of those people still use deodorant daily, a new study finds.

    The findings, published January 17 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, show just how much a person's daily life is dictated by what's considered normal.

    "They're spending their money, exposing their skin to what may in a few instances not be good for their skin. It sort of suggests to me that there are a lot of conformists around," said study co-author Ian Day, a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Bristol. [10 Odd Facts About the Female Body]

    Smelly genes

    Several years ago ago, scientists discovered that a gene called ABCC11 determined whether people produced wet or dry earwax. Interestingly, people who produce the "dry" version of earwax also lack a chemical in their armpits that bacteria feed on to cause underarm odor.

    "This key gene is basically the single determinant of whether you do produce underarm odor or not," Day said.

    While only 2 percent of Europeans lack the genes for smelly armpits, most East Asians and almost all Koreans lack this gene, Day told LiveScience.

    No one knows exactly why gene prevalence varies so much between populations, but its absence in East Asia suggests that being stinky was evolutionarily selected against there over the last several thousand years, he said.

    Unnecessary routine

    The new findings came as a surprising twist on a larger study investigating chemical exposures in 6,495 women and their babies in Britain. Researchers took blood samples (which contain genetic material) from the women and asked them what types of hygiene products they used daily. As a result, the researchers could investigate how genes related to product usage.

    About 98 percent of the women had the gene for smell-producing armpits. Of those, 95 percent used deodorant on a regular basis.

    But of the the 117 non-odor producing women, over three-quarters still used deodorant daily. That suggests the majority of women are using a product every day, when they have no need to, Day said.

    Though the team didn't look at men, they think the results should generalize. (Other studies have found that men in general are slightly less fastidious in their deodorant use, Day said.)

    Because the study didn't intend to look at deodorant use, the researchers can't tease out why smell-free women continue to slather on the odor-reducing product. But one possibility is that social pressure or conformity plays a large part in some of our most common hygiene routines, Day said.

    Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=people-without-underarm-protection
  2. It's apocrine sweat glands.

    East Asians have fewer apocrine sweat glands compared to people of other descent, and the lack of these glands make East Asians less prone to body odor.
  3. pspr


    Next week:

    Why Vaginas Smell Like Dead Fish
  4. Lucrum


    But...but...I thought "all men are created equal".
  5. They are...... some are just more equal than others.

    Sorry... had to use this quip. :cool:
  6. Ya gotta watch this clip it is funny.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KEBFMnZcc5Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  7. pspr


    The study was only conducted on women. :D
  8. Ricter


    At the end of bootcamp, for our first liberty, the DI warned us, "if it smells like tuna go for it, but if it smells like anchovies, run!"

  9. I wonder what they tell female GIs?