You've probably never given much thought to earwax but it is more than just a gross buildup in your ear canal.
The yellowish oily substance naturally occurs to protect the ear from foreign objects, dust and dirt. It also prevents water from entering the canal which could lead to infections.
Apart from offering protection, earwax is also an important indicator for many health issues and can even be used to determine a person's race.
Here are 3 facts about earwax that will make you appreciate its purpose a whole lot more.
1. Earwax types vary by ethnicity
Researchers at the Monell Center in Philadelphia discovered an odor-producing chemical compound in the waxy substance that differ between ethnicities. East Asians and Native Americans have the ABCC11 gene that results in dryer earwax and low body odor than people from other races.
2. Earwax can be used to diagnose some diseases
Maple syrup urine disease and alkaptonuria are two known metabolic diseases that can be initially diagnosed using earwax instead of blood and urine tests.
3. Earwax odor can reveal your eating habits
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, lack of or excess wax build up can be caused by your diet. Many people who experience increased amounts of wax have a fatty acid deficient diet.
Will you be paying more attention to your ears? Let us know!
[Source: The Health Site]