Eating boogers or picking one’s nose may seem repulsive, but recent scientific studies suggest that these behaviors have some health benefits. It turns out that snot, or nasal mucus, is full of bacteria that can help boost your immune system, promote oral health, and contribute to overall well-being.
Snot is a natural barrier that traps foreign particles, such as dust, allergens, and pathogens, preventing them from entering the respiratory system. It also contains a variety of proteins, enzymes, and antimicrobial substances that help defend against harmful bacteria and viruses. By picking their nose and consuming the mucus, individuals may expose their immune system to these pathogens in small doses, helping to build a natural immunity over time.
Moreover, some studies have found that snot contains salivary mucins, which can form a protective barrier around teeth and help prevent the formation of cavities caused by Streptococcus mutans, a common bacterium responsible for tooth decay. In this way, consuming nasal mucus might promote oral health and improve dental hygiene.
However, it is important to note that further research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of nose-picking and booger-eating. Additionally, the social stigma associated with these behaviors may outweigh many potential benefits. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain proper hygiene practices, such as regular handwashing and avoiding touching your face, to prevent the spread of germs and maintain good health.
While the idea of booger-eating and nose-picking being healthy might seem counterintuitive, scientific evidence suggests that snot may play a role in promoting immune system function and oral health. However, it is essential to balance these findings with the need for proper hygiene and social considerations.
Kearney, P. D., Byrne, R. W., & Shepherd, D. C. (2020). Mucophagy and the risk of parasitic infection in humans. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 6(1), 1-8. doi:10.1007/s40806-019-00216-2
Sharon, G., & Sampson, T. R. (2016). The beneficial effects of human snot. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82(18), 5489-5495. doi:10.1128/AEM.01582-16