Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

‘Healthy glow’ helps attract a sexual partner but may not signify good …

An attractive ‘healthy glow’ may help you win over a member of the opposite sex but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are actually healthier, according to new research.

According to one theory, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is good for you and therefore makes you more fit – in an evolutionary sense – to be a sexual partner. 

The effect of beta-carotenes, which produce the orange colour in carrots, on skin tone was seen as an “honest signal” of this. Evolution had, apparently, produced a simple mechanism to enable people to tell whether someone was in good enough condition to have a baby with.

However, researchers have now discovered that while taking beta-carotene supplements made a group of men significantly more attractive to a group of women, it did not actually make them any healthier.

Researcher Yong Zhi Foo, of The University of Western Australia, said: “Carotenoids are known to be responsible for the striking mating displays in many animal species. 

“Our study is one of the first to causally demonstrate that carotenoids can affect attractiveness in humans as well. 

“It also reaffirms the results of previous studies showing that what we eat can affect how we look.”

In the study, reported in the journal Behavioural Ecology, the researchers enlisted 43 white men with an average age of 21 to take beta-carotene supplements and a control group of 20 other white men.

They were photographed at the start of the trial and tested for the quality of their semen, immune system function and levels of oxidative stress.

For 12 weeks, the first group took supplements while the control group took a placebo.

They were then photographed again and the same tests of their health were carried out.

As expected, the supplements increased the overall yellowness and redness of the men’s faces, but not the lightness of their skin.

A group of 66 women, whose average age was 33, were then asked to rate the men’s faces for how attractive they were.

The faces of the men who took the supplement were 50 per cent more likely to be rated as attractive and healthy than the photographs taken at the start of the trial or the placebo group.

  • 1/10

    Flexitarian Diet

    The combination of flexible and vegetarian. This diet is all about adding things to your diet, not taking them away. By adding more tofu, beans, fruits, veggies, eggs, whole grains and seeds to your diet you should feel full on fewer calories.

    Flickr / Brian

  • 2/10

    DASH Diet

    Ranked at number one, the DASH diet was developed to prevent and lower high blood pressure by reducing salt intake.

    Flickr / Dubravko Sorić

  • 3/10

    TLC Diet

    Created to cut high cholesterol and endorsed by the American Heart Association.

  • 4/10

    Mayo Clinic diet

    Focuses on everything you were told to eat as a child: whole grains, fruit and vegetables.

    Flickr / Rochelle

  • 5/10

    Mediterranean Diet

    Eat as the Mediterranean people do: A diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fats but high in produce and nuts. And lots of olives.

    Flickr / Meal Makeover Moms

  • 6/10

    Weight Watchers

    Works with a points system where healthy foods have fewer points. Group meetings offer emotional support and encouragement, meaning it has been a successful program since 1963.

    Flickr / Mike Mozart

  • 7/10

    Volumetrics Diet

    Works on the idea that people eat roughly the same amount every day, regardless of the calories. So this diet is all about the approach to eating rather than a structured diet. It divides food into four groups depending on their energy density. For example, more veggies on top of pasta instead of cheese.

    Flickr / Jennifer

  • 8/10

    Jenny Craig

    For encouragement, on this diet you get a meal plan and a counselling session every week with a consultant. You get three meals a day, including French toast, but unfortunately you can’t really go out for meals.

    Flickr / Dennis Wilkinson

  • 9/10

    Biggest Loser Diet

    Eat regular meals with whole grains, fruit, vegetables and lean protein, get more exercise and keep a food journal. Fairly simple.

    Flickr / Pete Thomas

  • 10/10

    Ornish Diet

    Developed by Dean Ornish in his 2007 book “The Spectrum”. He categorizes food in to five groups from most (1) to least (5) healthy. He pinpoints emotional support as a powerful tool for weight loss.

    Flickr / kris krüg

A statement issued by Oxford University Press USA, the publisher of the journal, said: “Thus beta-carotene supplement significantly enhanced participants’ attractiveness and appearance of health. Beta-carotene treatment did not, however, significantly affect any health functions.

“The results suggest that carotenoid-based skin colour may be sexually selected in humans, but there is no evidence to suggest that this is an honest signal of health. This study calls for further research on the influence of carotenoid coloration on mammals, in particular, if findings are replicated in women.”

  • More about:
  • diet
  • Sex
  • Evolution
  • attractiveness
  • appearance

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/healthy-glow-attract-sex-partner-not-good-health-sign-carotene-carrots-research-study-men-a7577271.html