Good news, redheads! Amidst all the hullabaloo of the ginger gene dying out or not dying out, and South Park spreading rumors about gingers and their lack of souls, there is a flicker of triumph in the recessive MC1R gene.
You look younger.
According to scientists in the Netherlands, redheads look about two years younger than their age, which in turn could mean they have better health and mortality.
Researchers in Rotterdam conducted a study looking at elderly Dutch Europeans and analyzed their faces using factors such as skin tone, wrinkles and face shape. They found that those who carried the MC1R gene look, on average, two years younger than they actually were.
Redheads carry the MC1R gene, which is the source for their fair skin and copper hair color. MC1R also has a role in DNA repair, which could be a reason why redheads look younger.
Perceived age has been shown to predict a person’s health and mortality, according to the Telegraph, which gives scientists a new lead for investigating the biological basis of aging.
“The desire is attributable to the belief that appearance reflects health and fecundity,” study co-writer Dr. Manfred Kayser told the Telegraph. “Indeed, perceived age predicts survival and associates with molecular markers of aging.”
Who needs a soul when you’re aging slower than the rest of the population? Not saying that gingers don’t.