Strange link between physical attractiveness and Immune System discovered

(ORDO NEWS) — A new large-scale study has found evidence of a link between physical attractiveness and immune system function.While many questions remain, the researchers believe their findings suggest “a likely link between facial attractiveness and immune function.”

How reliable this relationship is, however, remains to be seen.Scientists have puzzled over the truth behind beauty since the discovery of evolution. Do social standards of attractiveness influence the mild effects of sexual selection in any way, or is beauty really in the human eye?

The answer is not as simple as choosing one side or the other. Even Charles Darwin, the famous proponent of natural selection, didn’t think beauty was a signal of better health or good genes.

The universal constants of what we can all consider beautiful have been a constant source of debate, with little consensus as to what they might be (let alone whether they exist at all). However, throughout human history, cultures of all kinds have found certain physical characteristics to be attractive while ignoring others.

While the notion that they are an objective standard of beauty remains controversial, some researchers suggest that facial features considered attractive may actually be markers of good health, implying that our attraction to them could potentially contribute to the survival of our offspring.

In theory, this is an intriguing idea, but it lacks quality evidence. Against this background, the authors of the current study claim that their work is the most thorough to date.

The study involved 159 young people whose photos were rated for attractiveness by 492 people in online surveys. After the head scans of the participants were taken, each of them also underwent a series of tests to assess the state of the immune system, the level of inflammation in the body and self-reported health.

Analyzing the results, the authors found that people whose faces were considered attractive had relatively healthier immune functions, especially with regard to bacterial immunity.

Interestingly, among the participants, no association was found between higher levels of inflammation and attractiveness. This may suggest that attractiveness of the face is a better indicator of high immune system function than signs of acute illness.

In short, the main function of facial attractiveness may not be so much about avoiding a sick partner, but about avoiding a partner who may affect the health of your future offspring – at least hypothetically.

The study also revealed some interesting gender differences. For example, men were more likely to be considered attractive if their natural killer cells were functioning at a high level. These cells play a critical role in clearing the body of viral infections.

Women, on the other hand, were considered more attractive if they had a slower growth of bacteria in their blood plasma, which is associated with the level of minerals, glucose and antibodies in the blood.

The results of the study suggest that facial attractiveness may be related to immune factors that can be passed down through genes, but this does not mean that there are no cultural factors that influence individual perceptions of beauty. How each of them is weighed is not yet clear.

“It’s also possible that the links between attractiveness and health may be obscured in modern humans, given that people’s preferences for mates predate the advent of modern medicine,” the authors suggest.

“That is, while attractiveness may have determined both health and immune function in ancestral populations, the association with health may no longer be seen as modern medicine allows people with low immunocompetence to maintain relatively good health.”

Ultimately, research alone is not enough to determine why human aesthetics exist and what evolutionary purpose, if any, facial beauty may serve. Further research will be needed to replicate these results, if they can be replicated, and to explore what drives the link between physical attractiveness and immune function.

Until then, beauty will remain a mystery.

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