We all know that having red hair subjects you to ridicule and a bunch of nasty health risks. And, until now, we may have thought we were alone in this ‘Team Ginger’, but it turns out a hell of a lot more people in the UK carry the ginger gene than we first thought, as well as the health risks that go with it.
That’s right, there is an increase of red-heads in the world, or rather ‘red-genes’, and I’d like to refer to them as ‘Secret Gingers’.
In a study of more than 5,000 people, BritainsDNA found that a whopping 40% of Britons carry this recessive gene, or ‘secret’ gene. How about that, eh?
Secret Gingers are people who carry the ginger gene but don’t show it through the appearance of red hair, pale complexion, and freckly skin (like us lucky folk).
They are the carriers of the gene, who will have the potential to create a ginger baby if they mate with another ginger carrier. And not only are they the Ginger Mamas and Papas of this world, but they can’t escape the downsides of Gingerness: increased risk of skin cancer, Parkinson’s disease and even Tourette’s syndrome.
So potentially, there are a lot of us out there, just leaving in denial and secrecy, waiting for a little ginger baby to sprout. Here’s the official word:
So maybe, one day, this realisation that so many Brits carry the ginger gene will mean that the ginger jibes will stop. Wishful thinking?
The study also estimates that 6% of people living in England are natural redheads, with 13% in Scotland.
The study examined saliva samples, from which each individual’s genetic signature is mapped by experts from the Centre for Population Health Sciences (CPHS) at the University of Edinburgh.