Friday, August 21, 2015

Redheads are a breed apart

Until 2000, no one even knew how we got redheads. Then they figured out a gene we all have--melanocortin 1 receptor protein--mutates and sometimes causes reddish hair, pale skin, and light eyes.

Redheads may be only 1-2% of the world's population.

Among other weird aspects of this mutated gene, come:

--More sensitivity to painkillers--meaning redheads need a smaller dose.

--More sensitivity to temperature changes--they speak up more often.

---The need for more anesthetics during surgery--and more novacaine during dental work. As a result, they tend to avoid the dentists more than people with other hair colors.

--Ability to produce their own Vitamin D. Northern Europe has the highest concentration of redheads--when people migrated out of Africa, their skin lightened over time because of less exposure to the sun. People with darker skin did block more sun rays, but also produced less Vitamin D.

--Increased risk for Parkinson's (twice that of those with darker hair). Also more likely to get a melanoma. Apparently the mutated gene does not bind to the PTEN gene, which is known to prevent cancer in some cases. When a redhead's skin is exposed to the UV rays, the PTEN breaks down quickly, developing into cancer.

--Unlikelihood of going gray. Their hair tends to be thicker and retain pigment longer.

--And, finally, redheads tend to have more sex--they are more noticeable--and "red" promotes arousal.

I do know some women disdain "gingies"--redheaded men. I lived with one--but alas, he is now bald and we have long since parted.

And that has nothing to do with this.

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