By the time we reached kindergarten, most of us had been told by our parents countless times to keep our fingers out of our noses. Not only is picking your nose a grotty, unhygienic habit, it can also disrupt the fragile lining of the nostrils and lead to sinus infections.
Still, there was always that one black sheep in every primary school class who insisted on not only picking their nose but eating it too. While that kid may have been subjected to much ridicule, it turns out he may have been onto an emerging health trend. According to new research, people who eat their own snot may actually be healthier!
Pretty gross, we know. But the study from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that the nasal mucus is high in good bacteria that can strengthen the immune system. It was also found to stopcavity-causing bacteria from sticking to the teeth, which could help safeguard against stomach ulcers, respiratory infections and even HIV.
Eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body’s immune system. Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system, the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.
-Austrian lung specialist Professor Friedrich Bischinger via Daily Mail
So that we don’t all have to walk around eating boogers in the name of health, the researchers are currently working on a synthetic mucus toothpaste and chewing gum that would mimic the snot’s benefits. But until that happens, we think we’ll stick to taking probiotics and drinking kombucha to get our daily dose of health-boosting good bacteria!