Born Blonde? Watch Out for Eye Trouble!

Your original hair color can predict health problems.

Born Blonde? Watch Out for Eye Trouble!

Your original hair color can predict health problems.

-Jane Farrell

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Everyone knows that illness can be predicted by your family history, but now researchers are saying that some physical problems can be due to an often overlooked family factor: the hair color you’re born with.

According to Svetlana Kogan, M.D. of New York City, women who are blonde have a higher risk than non-blondes of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that can lead to blindness, MSNBC reported. Kogan told the website that a daily cup of kale, spinach or snow peas can help. Those vegetables contain the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help eyesight.

More than others, blondes also have to guard against melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Because of their light skin, blondes produce less melanin, which helps guard against unhealthy UV rays, Joel Schlessinger, M.D., president emeritus of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, told MSNBC.

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As for brunettes, Schlessinger says, watch your head: More than half of the 30 million women who have visible hair loss were born with dark hair. “Brown strands are generally coarser and thicker than blonde or red strands, and your body produces fewer of them,” Schlessinger says. So when hair follicles drop off, they leave obvious patches. One possible remedy: Since hair loss is sometimes caused by low iron levels, eat one cup of fortified oatmeal per day.

Brunettes are also likelier to get hooked on nicotine, MSNBC says, because brunettes produce more melanin and that substance basically keeps the nicotine in your body longer, making it easier to become addicted to tobacco. The best remedy, of course: Don’t start smoking. Ever.

As for redheads, MSNBC reported, they’re more resistant to general and local anesthetics—and that’s due to the same gene mutation that causes red hair. Protect yourself from unnecessary pain by talking to your doctor or dentist before a procedure about pain management. (In fact, this is probably something everyone should do, regardless of hair color!)

Most important, though, is that redheads are way more vulnerable to Parkinson’s disease – in fact, they’re 90 percent more vulnerable than non-redheads, probably because of that pesky DNA mutation. The progress of the disease, MSNBC reports, could be halted by taking folic acid. Dr. Margaret Lewin, the medical director of the health-insurance company Cinergy, suggests taking 400 micrograms per day, and more if you’re expecting a baby. In that case, a doctor will tell you how much you should take. (MSNBC)

Jane Farrell is a senior editor for BettyConfidential.

Photo Credit: Jupiterimages

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