Deodorants: Do we really need them?
New research shows that more than 75 per cent of people with a particular version of a gene don't produce under-arm odour but use deodorant anyway.
The study was based on a sample of 6,495 women who are part of the wider Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol. The researchers found that about two per cent (117 out of 6,495) of mothers carry a rare version of a particular gene (ABCC11), which means they don't produce any under-arm odour.
While about 5 per cent of people who produce an odour do not use deodorant, more than a fifth (26 out of 117) of those who don't produce an odour do not use deodorant, a statistically highly significant difference. However, 78 per cent of people who do not produce odour, still use deodorant on all or most days.
Speaking about the novel finding, published today in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the lead author Professor Ian Day said:
'An important finding of this study relates to those individuals who, according to their genotype, do not produce under-arm odour. One quarter of these individuals must consciously or subconsciously recognise that they do not produce odour and do not use deodorant, whereas most odour producers do use deodorant. However, three quarters of those who do not produce an odour regularly use deodorants; we believe that these people simply follow socio-cultural norms. This contrasts with the situation in North East Asia, where most people do not need to use deodorant and they don't.'
The first author of the paper, Dr Santiago Rodriguez added:
'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-odour producers.'
The authors highlight that people who carry this rare genetic variant are also more likely to have dry (rather than sticky) ear wax and that checking ear wax is a good indicator of whether or not a person produces under-arm odour.
Previous studies have shown that there is a link between a genetic variant located in the ABCC11 gene and under-arm odour. Sweat glands produce sweat which, combined with bacteria, result in under-arm odour. The production of odour depends on the existence of an active ABCC11 gene. However, the ABCC11 gene is known to be inactive in some people.
This study looked for the first time at deodorant usage in relation to ABCC11 genotype and also in comparison with other factors such as age, background and general household hygiene. At the individual level, the influence of ABCC11 genotype was much stronger than the other factors. The statistical support for the ABCC11 finding was extremely strong – the random chance of getting the same answer was less than one in a million million million odds.
More information: 'Dependence of deodorant usage on ABCC11 genotype: scope for personalised genetics in personal hygiene' by Santiago Rodriguez et al is published today [17 January 2013] in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, (Nature Publishing), doi:10.1038/jid.2012.480
Journal reference: Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Provided by University of Bristol
- Scientists look at deodorant for New Zealand's smelly birds Sep 24, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Drinking water from plastic pipes - is it harmful? Nov 08, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Malaria mosquitoes guided by bacteria Dec 08, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Smell the love Aug 04, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Sniffing out a solution to smelly clothes Jun 22, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Research shows that the earlier the age at which youth take their first alcoholic drink, the greater the risk of developing alcohol problems. Thus, age at first drink (AFD) is generally considered a powerful predictor of ...
Health 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
One quarter of British lawmakers believe there is an "unhealthy" drinking culture in the Houses of Parliament, according to a survey published on Friday.
Health 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found that the race and sex of study personnel can influence a patient's decision on whether or not to participate in clinical research.
Health 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The processes to allow people to self-manage their own illness are not being used appropriately by health professionals to the benefit of their patients, new research suggests.
Health 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Control of heart disease risk factors varies widely among outpatient practices, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2013.
Health 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—What if the quality of your work depends more on your focus on the piano keys or canvas or laptop than your musical or painting or computing skills? If target users can be convinced, they ...
18 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
The neural machinery underlying our olfactory sense continues to be an enigma for neuroscience. A recent review in Neuron seeks to expand traditional ideas about how neurons in the olfactory bulb might encode information about ...
17 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
15 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Treatment for alcohol use disorders works best if the patient actively understands and incorporates the interventions provided in the clinic. Multiple factors can influence both the type and degree of neurocognitive abnormalities ...
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |