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Beauty and bacteria: Slim, attractive men have less nasal bacteria than heavy men

Date:
February 18, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Do attractive traits tell us anything about a person's reproductive health? New research reveals a link between Body Mass Index (BMI) and the amount of bacteria colonizing noses. The results show that heavier men harbor more potentially pathogenic species of bacteria in their nose, compared with slimmer, more traditionally attractive men.

Heavier men harbor more potentially pathogenic species of bacteria in their nose, compared with slimmer, more traditionally attractive men.
Credit: schankz / Fotolia

Do attractive traits tell us anything about a person's reproductive health? New research in the American Journal of Human Biology reveals a link between Body Mass Index (BMI) and the amount of bacteria colonizing noses. The results show that heavier men harbor more potentially pathogenic species of bacteria in their nose, compared with slimmer, more traditionally attractive men.

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"According to an evolutionary point of view, traits related to attractiveness are supposed to be honest signals of biological quality," said Dr. Boguslaw Pawlowski. "We analyzed whether nasal and throat colonization with potentially pathogenic bacteria is related to body height and BMI in both sexes."

103 healthy females and 90 healthy males participated in the study. Heights and weights were self-reported, while waist and hip circumferences were measured. Six potentially pathogenic bacteria were isolated and identified from nasal and throat swabs. The results showed that 'colonized' men were found to have a higher BMI than non-colonized males, although no differences were found in females.

"To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to study body morphology traits related to physical attractiveness in relation to bacterial colonization in young people," said Pawlowski. "The results confirmed our hypothesis, but only for BMI in males."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Boguslaw Pawlowski, Judyta Nowak, BARBARA Borkowska, Zuzanna Drulis-Kawa. Human body morphology, prevalence of nasopharyngeal potential bacterial pathogens, and immunocompetence handicap principal. American Journal of Human Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22510

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Beauty and bacteria: Slim, attractive men have less nasal bacteria than heavy men." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100715.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, February 18). Beauty and bacteria: Slim, attractive men have less nasal bacteria than heavy men. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100715.htm
Wiley. "Beauty and bacteria: Slim, attractive men have less nasal bacteria than heavy men." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100715.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

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