Next time you see your little one searching for buried treasure, instead of swiping their hand away, let them carry on.
According to a recent study, not only should grown-ups be picking our noses and eating boogers, but we should be encouraging our kids to do the same.
The study, published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, said those little boogies have many health benefits that can help protect your teeth.
According to the study, snot contains salivary mucins that form a barrier against bacteria that can cause cavities.
As a result of their findings, researchers who led the study are now looking into ways to create synthetic mucus that can be made into chewing gum or toothpaste. Tasty!
But healthy teeth aren't the only benefit to eating one's booger. According to The Independent, evidence points to mucus in snot as an effective defence against respiratory infection, stomach ulcers and HIV.
And not only can eating your snot protect you against harmful bacteria, but apparently picking your nose can also make you a happier and healthier person.
According to Austrian lung specialist Prof Friedrich Bischinger, people who like to dig up there are better in tune with their bodies. He also suggests that society work to get rid of the social stigma around picking one's nose and encourage our children to do so more often.
“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,” Bischinger said.
He added: “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."
"[It's] a perfectly natural thing to do."
The study's findings go directly against previous research. According to NYU otolaryngologist Dr. Erich Voigt, there are serious health reasons for why you shouldn't pick your nose. In a video for Business Insider, Dr. Voigt explained that introducing germs into your nose, combined with picking, can cause abrasions. These abrasions "bleed, promoting germs, increasing the crust and irritation by picking your nose."
He also noted that picking your nose can be bad for children because it can cause serious nose bleeds.
"The blood supply to the nose is very vigorous — there are five arteries that lead to the front of the nose," he said.
"When an abrasion occurs there can be vigorous bleeding, children induce a lot of nosebleeds that way."
So it looks like if you can get past the ick factor — and the potential for nosebleeds — you might have one less thing to bug your kids about. At least that's a silver lining!
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