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Redheads 'less sensitive to pain'


March 7, 2012 - London

Redheads, also known as gingers, are less susceptible to skin pain and can handle hot food, a study has revealed.

However, the Danish study also found that they are more sensitive to the cold and more likely to suffer from toothaches.

"Our tests showed that redheads are less sensitive to this particular type of pain, the Daily Mail quoted one of the researchers, Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen, of the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction at Aalborg University, as saying.

"They react less to pressure close to the injected area, or to a pinprick. They seem to be a bit better protected, and that is a really interesting finding," he said.

In recent years, research has suggested that redheaded women experience pain in a different way to their brown and blonde counterparts.

This has led scientists to theorise that they may possess a 'redhead' gene that is causing the fundamental differences.

Professor Arendt-Nielsen questioned any further consequences given the gene's close association with the central nervous system.

"It seems that MCR1 is involved in central functions in the brain, and we know that subgroups like MC2R, MC3R and MC4R, which are also linked to redheads, have considerable involvement in brain functions.

"This could be the key to explaining why redheads are a little different to other people," he said.

It is estimated that 2 percent of the world's population is redheaded. In the northern hemisphere the figure is 6 percent and in Scotland 13 percent.

ANI

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