It might be wise to look away now if you are eating or have a weak stomach, but scientists have discovered that ingesting bogies is good for teeth, and overall health.
Scientists at a number of universities including Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say parents should not discourage their children from picking their noses because they contain ‘a rich reservoir of good bacteria.’
Eating snot can also prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth, according to the article published in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
The findings even suggest snot could defend against respiratory infections, stomach ulcers and even HIV.
The researchers are even working on a synthetic mucus toothpaste and chewing gum to harness the dental benefits of bogies.
“Nature pushes us to do different things because it is to our advantage to have certain behaviours, to consume different types of foods,” said said co-author Dr Scott Napper, professor of biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
“So maybe when you have an urge to pick your nose and eat it, you should just go with nature.
“From an evolutionary perspective, we evolved under very dirty conditions and maybe this desire to keep our environment and our behaviours sterile isn’t actually working to our advantage.”
Austrian lung specialist Professor Friedrich Bischinger, who also contributed to the study, said research show people who pick their noses are healthy, happier and probably better in tune with their bodies.
“Eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body’s immune system,” he said.
“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.”