Body Hack XX: Most East Asian People Don’t Need Deodorant Due To Their Earwax Forming Gene

This is going to be one of those posts which I will be arguing over an idea which many people in general society will not believe is true but there is a lot of scientific articles and studies published which would suggest that my hypothesis is correct.

I was reading an article from the website The Guardian entitled “Are you wasting money on deodorant? The answer can be found in your ears

The section I want to refer the reader to is copy and pasted below…

“There is one trait known to be dictated by a single gene though: earwax type. Most Europeans have wet earwax, because they have at least one copy of the “wet” version of a gene (catchily called ABCC11). Just over a million people in the UK have a rarer dry type of earwax, as they have two copies of a different version of the gene (we all have two of every gene, one from our mothers, and one from our fathers).

This gene doesn’t just define our earwax type. It also holds the code for building the protein that transports sweat out of pores in our armpits, where it attracts the bacteria that cause body odour. Or at least, one version of it does. The lucky “dry earwax” people don’t produce the protein, so they don’t make the apocrine underarm sweat that attracts bacteria (it’s worth noting we produce two types of sweat, the other being body-wide ecrine sweat, salty water, which isn’t affected by this gene).”

If the reader cared to read over that section, they can see that the single gene mutation which would cause the earwax to go from wet to dry is the same gene mutation that causes people to perspire a lot in their armpits.

Of course, what is less well known is that for most east asian people, their earwax is dry, not wet. (source 1, source 2)

From source 1, they state, “Today, 80 to 95 percent of East Asians have dry earwax, whereas the wet variety is abundant in people of African and European ancestry (97 to 100 percent).

It seems that East Asians have a that single gene mutation that prevents the specific compound known as cerumen from reaching the ear which is what makes earwax wet.

We can then make the connection that since East Asian people don’t have that gene to form wet earwax, then most of them won’t have the gene to make the perspiration in the armpits.

I can validate this issue with the fact that many of the people I know are Asian themselves and few of them who come from their native countries have ever even heard of this idea of the deodorant, let alone use them. However the smell of East Asians are different, and it is not from their armpits.

So, most East Asians don’t need to use deodorant as much as say europeans, caucasians, and africans.

After looking at this issue even further, I would find more articles from StraightDope.com which states…

“It’s not that Asians don’t have sweat glands under their arms; the difference is that they have markedly fewer apocrine glands than black or white people. That doesn’t mean they sweat less–eccrine glands, the other main type of sweat gland, are a thousand times more numerous on most bodies, and Asians have plenty of them. But apocrine glands are the kind that make you stink.”

From another source the same thing is noticed where asian people have less of that certain gland in their armpits.

Even Scientific America would have an article about this issue showing that many Asians who don’t actually stink or sweat in their armpits wear deodorant, which is a sort of Middle Eastern or American derived idea. From Scientific America, the article states…

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.”

Even newspapers like the Miami Herald would say the same claim that because of this gene mutation only found in east asians, particularly koreans, they don’t really need to use deodorant.

So, In conclusion if you are East Asian, particularly Korean and you are a daily, habitual user of deodorant of the armpits from what American media and commercials might tell you, you may not need it and just wasting money on something which does nothing for you.

2 thoughts on “Body Hack XX: Most East Asian People Don’t Need Deodorant Due To Their Earwax Forming Gene

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