Beta-carotene gives the skin a yellow-orange hue. It is subconsciously perceived as a sign of good health.
But in fact it is not, discovered by Australian scientists. Article researchers from the University of Western Australia, published in the journal Behavioral Ecology.
As shown by previous studies, red, yellow and orange color males, which are a source of natural pigments carotenoids, contained in fruits and plants, it plays an important role in sexual selection in many animal species, such as birds, fish and reptiles.
The females are more attracted to brightly colored males, as this painting clearly indicates their good health, and hence a high ability to survive, reproduce and transfer their good genes to offspring. Carotenoids have powerful antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage by free oxygen molecules (of oxidative stress). Individuals are able to produce food rich in these substances in quantities sufficient to ensure that this is reflected in their color, by definition, are strong and healthy.
The authors decided to test whether this evolutionary mechanism operates in humans, as well as whether there is a correlation between the yellowish skin tone and health. To this end, they have selected 43 heterosexual young men Caucasian appearance, whose average age was 21 years.
At the start of the study, all participants underwent a medical examination to assess the level of oxidative stress, immune activity, the quality of sperm. In addition, all young people photographed. Then, for 12 weeks, participants received supplementation with beta-carotene. At the end of this period, they again passed a medical examination, they also photographed again, to keep track of changes made to the color of their skin. As expected, it has acquired a yellowish-orange tint.
Photos showed men 66 women, mean age was 33 years. They were asked to assess the degree of attractiveness and health status of the participants to the course of the beta-carotene and after. It was found that women chose the photograph of men with a yellowish complexion twice as often as the photos taken before the course of beta-carotene.
Men with such a complexion seemed to women more attractive and healthier. However, the survey has shown that no significant positive impact on the health of men, beta-carotene is not actually rendered.
These results suggest that, as in animals, humans sexual selection can be based on skin color colored carotenoid researchers write.
However, unlike the animals, man, this feature gives false signals about the health of its owner.
Previously, psychologists at the University of Macquarie found that plant food in general adds attractiveness to men.