People often use deodorants to prevent body odor. But some are more dependent on odor help than others. Scientists know that both earwax type and odor are genetically determined by the same single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Several studies have addressed the biological aspects of this genetic variant, but behaviorall aspects related to this genetic variant are less studied.
In this context, researchers analyzed the effect of a genetic variant on deodorant usage in a large population cohort, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). A total of 8,326 mothers and 9,167 children were successfully genotyped for rs17822931 located in the ATP Binding Cassette Subfamily C Member 11 (ABCC11) gene, which is crucial for the secretion of odorants and their precursors from the apocrine sweat gland. Deodorant use was assessed by self-completed questionnaires for the mother and the partner. Each mother was asked the following question: ‘‘In the last few months, how often have you used the following (whether at home or at work)?’’ There was then a list of chemicals, including ‘‘deodorants.’’ The partner was asked a similar set of questions during pregnancy, but they were presented with the words ‘‘Just before your partner became pregnant, how often did you use the following (whether at home or at work)?’’ They had to answer by the 5-point scale ranging from not at all (0) to daily (7). Results showed a strong association between deodorant usage and maternal genotype in ALSPAC for white and non-white participants. There was a significantly higher than expected frequency of the AA genotype in white mothers with lower use of deodorant for both white and non-white participants. However, there was no association between maternal genotype and partners’ deodorant usage. The rs17822931 genotype in children was associated with similar effect sizes for the mother and partner deodorant usage. When considering white individuals, the rs17822931 genotype of the child was associated significantly with maternal deodorant usage and the use of deodorant by the partner.
The results suggested potential cost saving for the non-odorous and scope for personalized genetics usage in personal hygiene choices and reducing inappropriate chemical exposures for some. Read more about the study here:
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