(ETX Daily Up) – Stop everything! If you thought beauty was a story of subjectivity, diktats, or injunctions, you were wrong. It would actually be directly linked to the good health – or not – of your immune system, as revealed by a team of American researchers. Incredible, but (potentially) true!
Who said it wasn’t all about physics? Not this team of scientists from Texas Christian University, in the United States, who were interested in the potential link between physical attraction and the ability of the immune system to fight off all kinds of infections. The idea seems totally crazy, but researchers believe that we could be attracted to a certain form of beauty because we are simply biologically programmed to seek out a healthy partner. Phenomenon that they tried to demonstrate through a study published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society B‘.
The study involves 159 male and female participants, students at Texas Christian University or members of the neighboring community, who were photographed without makeup and with neutral facial expressions, and who had blood tests performed. For the second phase of the survey, scientists asked 492 people participating in an online survey to rate their physical attractiveness based on each snapshot.
Beauty rhymes with good health
The result is surprising, since the women and men deemed the most attractive were also those with the highest rates of phagocytosis, a process that plays a central role in the destruction of certain disease-causing bacteria. In other words, the better you are considered to be, the more likely you are to have a good immune system – or the opposite.
However, researchers have observed gender disparities. Men judged to be the most attractive were more likely to have natural ‘good cells’ meant to clear viral infections from the body. The beauty of the women was associated with a slower growth in their plasma of a bacterium responsible for food poisoning and localized infections.
There would therefore be a link between the interest you have in a person’s features and the proper functioning of his immune system; the whole being played on the attraction which you carry finally to the good potential health of a future partner of life. Still, this is the first study of its kind, and these results still deserve to be confirmed in the future, especially since it would require affirming that beauty is objective…beyond all considerations. cultural and societal, but also unrelated to the personality of the main stakeholders.
In conclusion of their research, the scientists believe that advances in modern medicine could redistribute the cards when it comes to physical preferences. “Thanks to modern medicine, infections aren’t as deadly as they used to be, so it could be that people are lowering their standards, and starting to give less attractive people a chance,” said the lead author of the study.
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Beautiful people have a better immune system
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