Science shows redheads have genetic superpowers

Amy Adams is a lucky woman. Not only is she one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses with five Oscar nominations under her fashionable belt, she actually smells sexy.

Dr. Augustin Galopin first recorded this fact in his 1886 book “Le Parfum de la Femme.” He reportedly detected that redheaded women emit a particularly distinct aroma — that of ambergris, an earthy and sensual scent. (Later, science proved that skin mantle — a thin, acidic film on our skin’s surface — is actually more acidic in redheads, causing perfume to more quickly evaporate when applied and potentially emitting a unique smell of its own.)

This and other fascinating facts fill the new tome “The Big Redhead Book” (St. Martins), out now, by scarlet-haired writer Erin La Rosa.
Not only are “gingers” a mere 2 percent of the population (the rarest combination is a redhead with blue eyes like Adams), they’re also different in far subtler ways. Research indicates that redheads have higher thresholds for pain and need less vitamin D than the rest of us thanks to the MC1R gene mutation, which gives their hair its hue.

Here are some of the most intriguing facts about the so-called “unicorns of the human world” adapted from La Rosa’s book:

They don’t need as much Vitamin D

Thanks to higher concentration of red hair and pale skin in cloudy European environments, redheads adapted a greater ability to create their own vitamin D. So when a redhead goes outside, he or she produces more vitamin D in a shorter amount of time than people with other hair colors. This gives an evolutionary advantage, since low levels of vitamin D can lead to ailments like rickets, diabetes and arthritis.

Redheaded women handle pain better

A 2003 McGill University study showed that redheaded women can tolerate up to 25 percent more pain than people with other hair colors. Another study out of Oslo University found that redheaded women feel less pain when pricked by a pin. Still, they’re harder to sedate. The University of Louisville found that it takes 20 percent more general anesthesia during surgery to put a redhead under. And while a brunette may only need one shot of Novocaine at the dentist, a redhead needs two or three.

They know when it’s getting cold

Redheads feel hot and cold temperatures more severely than anyone else. In 2005, the University of Louisville discovered this hidden gift and hypothesized that the redhead gene, MC1R, may cause the human…

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