Noses may come in all shapes and sizes; whether it be a flat nose, fleshy nose and button nose. Underneath the Rudolf red cherry top and winter sniffles, the nose may play an important role in respiration, and recent studies say the bigger the better.
The study published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology suggests larger noses aid the amount of oxygen inhaled and may fuel a larger muscle mass. It notes male noses tend to be 10% bigger then females, which starts to become evident in puberty.
In a more sizeable nose, larger nasal cavities and airway enables a higher intake of oxygen. Oxygen is then carried in hemoglobin by red blood cells and reaches the muscles. The study’s statement said: “Male noses grow disproportionately larger than female noses beginning at puberty, a University of Iowa study has found. The reason: Males need to breathe in more oxygen to feed muscle mass than females.”
Research was conducted with focus on 18 female and 20 male volunteers from ages three to over 20, from the Iowa Facial Growth Study. The volunteers were of European descent, performed physical exams and had almost 300 data points collected from X-rays. Results shown that both sexes had similar nose sizes when they were young, before male noses grew larger during adolescence, coinciding with how they consume more oxygen throughout puberty in order to develop a larger muscle mass.
Nathan Holton, a biological anthropologist at the University of Iowa said: “As body size increases in males and females during growth, males exhibit a disproportionate increase in nasal size, this follows the same pattern as energetic variables such as oxygen consumption.”
“After puberty, for any given body size, males tend to have larger noses because more of the male body is made up of lean muscle tissue that’s metabolically more expensive.”
Previous physiological studies have shown that 95 percent of the weight males gain during puberty is lean muscle, however that such muscle accounts for only 85 percent in females, with scientists linking this to the amount of oxygen inhaled over the period. The findings might yield insights on evolution with modern humans in fact have smaller noses than their ancient ancestors. Scientists have suggested the skeletons of ancient humans had larger body masses and may have needed larger noses to help supply them with greater levels of oxygen.
The nose is one of the key senses, it plays zero factor in terms of smell. A previous study showed women tend to have a better sense of smell, linking women’s stronger supply of the hormone estrogen, which has a role in increasing odor sensitivity. Hormone variations make up the key differences in the physiological and psychological make up of men and woman. In the skeletal structure of a face, woman tend to have a shorter head, broader face and more petite chin.
For the scientific findings on the nose, having the larger type offers a greater consumption of oxygen and may help the improvement of fitness levels especially in training. The ability to inhale more oxygen means muscles may work harder, faster and for longer. Having a bigger nose is something to boast about and a gift to a potentially healthier life.
Bigger the nose, the better?