January 18, 2013

You Might Not NEED Deodorant (But Please Wear It Anyway)

In a study voted most likely to be cited by junior high students across the globe, research from the University of Bristol has found that the majority of humans have no need for deodorant.

Whether or not we need to wear the stuff to remain courteous to those around us, we generally opt to anyway. According to authors professor Ian Day and Dr. Santiago Rodriquez, nearly a whopping 78% of human beings do not carry the stinky gene that would necessitate the use of deodorant.

After running a test on a sample of more than 6,000 women, these researchers found only 2% of these mothers carry around the gene responsible for underarm odor, otherwise known as ABCC11.

Furthermore, this study has concluded that while 5% of those who do stink do not wear deodorant, only a fifth of those who do not stink reject deodorant. This, say the authors, is a significant difference, statistically speaking, Even more so, 78% of us don’t have a need for underarm treatment, yet we slather it on regardless.

“An important finding of this study relates to those individuals who, according to their genotype, do not produce under-arm odor,” explained professor Ian Day in a statement announcing this study.

“One quarter of these individuals must consciously or subconsciously recognize that they do not produce odor and do not use deodorant, whereas most odor producers do use deodorant.”

Professor Day also points out that the use of deodorant is now a part of a socio-economic norm— you simply wear deodorant unless you wanted to be taken as a smelly vagabond. In North East Asia, Day says, this is quite different. Most of the people there have no need for deodorant and therefore never use the stuff.

According to Dr. Rodriquez, the first author of the paper that was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, this research goes far beyond understanding how many smelly people exist on the Earth.

“These findings have some potential for using genetics in the choice of personal hygiene products. A simple gene test might strengthen self-awareness and save some unnecessary purchases and chemical exposures for non-odor producers.”

Their research also uncovered another interesting fact about those humans with the smelly gene. According to professor Day and Dr. Rodriquez, anyone who is a carrier of ABCC11 is also more likely to have dry earwax instead of the sticky stuff found in most ears.

Therefore, should you find yourself wondering if a potential mate also has the potential to have swampy pits, simply check their ear canals first.

Finally, while other studies have delved into the link between ABCC11 and underarm odor, this study is the first to determine that those without the gene do not have a need for deodorant. Furthermore, even if a person carries the ABCC11 gene, it may be inactive in some, further reducing the number of those who need to wear deodorant.

This study was also the first to take other factors into consideration, such as age, background, and overall household hygiene. All told, the authors say the chance of carrying an active ABCC11 gene is around one in a million million million odds. Good luck out there, juniper high boys!

Image Credit: Photos.com

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