Is Boogers Healthy to Eat


Do Boogers Physically Rise Out Of The Nose, Put In The Mouth, And Swallow The Immune System? The short answer probably isn't. You absorb your snot all the time without having to run it through your mouth. So, if there's a benefit, you can get it without chewing your nasal nuggets.

However, there are some medical professionals willing to share their views on the benefits of mining for green candy, especially what boosts the immune system.

One of the more believable proponents of this habit is Scott Napper, a biochemistry professor who made waves around the world in 2013 when he half-heartedly suggested to a group of his students that eating our own boogers allows our bodies to safely develop antibodies to antibodies the weakened pathogens in our snot and noses. He also said the reason boogers have a sugary taste is to get kids to eat them to boost the immune system ... It's an evolution. You can't fight it.

While mostly just trying to get students interested in science through an unconventional proposal, Napper's hypothesis, largely thanks to the media, has morphed into many who seemed to believe he actually did some kind of study about it, and there is Evidence to back it up. The truth is, no such study has been done yet, although Napper has expressed an interest in it and would undoubtedly win an IG Nobel Prize for his work if he ever did.

As you might expect, finding large numbers of volunteers is a hurdle.

Another name that comes up whenever the topic of boogers eat is mentioned is lung specialist Dr. Friedrich Bischinger. In 2004, he argued that eating boogers was healthy for a reason similar to that of napper. The Museum of the Hoaxes did a little background check on the good doctor and found that Dr. Friedrich Bischinger has never published a medical study on the subject, and his original quote about the benefits of eating boogers comes from a poorly translated interview with a German magazine. As far as we can tell, Bischinger has never elaborated on his original hypothesis since then.

In order to answer the question, we have to analyze the plausibility of the hypothesis without doing a study on the subject. Is it right with the microbes and other things in your nasal mucus? Yes, that's one of the functions of it - to filter out dust and pathogens.

But there is a problem from here. As Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University found that we humans ingest nasal mucus throughout the day. The wet mucus in our noses is usually returned to our throats by cilia, sometimes by simple gravity when the head is in the correct position.

So, if you didn't know before reading this article, record Boogers on a daily basis. You might have swallowed a lot right now. Think about it.

Needless to say, few medical professionals believe the Napper or Bischinger hypothesis. For this to be true, the relatively dried mucus needs to be something special to take out over the wet or dried mucus that you sniff and swallow. And there's just no reason to believe there is any significant difference other than moisture content.

However, for you, the bogey fans, all hope is not lost, as Dr. Joseph Mercola notes. There is an increasingly popular hypothesis that our obsession with the purity of society is causing more and more certain types of diseases because our body is not exposed to certain diseases on a regular basis and therefore our immune system is weaker - the so-called "hygiene hypothesis".

So it is plausible enough that the mucus ingested actually brings our body into contact with pathogens that it can treat, thereby helping the immune system. As mentioned above, this happens anyway. There's no need to manually pull it out of your nose and stick it in your mouth ... unless you like it, of course. Either way, it will end up in your stomach.

That is, while to those of us who have never tried (or don't remember that almost all children do at one point or another), this may seem crude, according to the few studies that have been done on Booger- Eaters were carried out. The huge number of people who gobble up their nasal mucus think it is palatable which probably won't come as a surprise to anyone, like if they didn't, they'd probably just stop. As Sidney Tarachow noted in a 1966 report on coprophagia (the compulsive eating of bodily secretions), "People eat leftover noses and think they are delicious too!"

To sum up, to date there has been no scientific evidence that ingesting snot by mouth is beneficial. However, it is plausible that the snot we all ingest all the time is beneficial in the way that snotfish proponents claim. It's just that we don't need to put it in our mouths to see the benefit if such benefit is taken as hypothetical.

In the end, as long as you are careful, you generally won't hurt, and many find it tasty. So, if that's your thing, bon appetit!

Bonus facts:

  • The correct term for eating your own mucus is the downright disgusting sounding term: mucophagia and, according to the BBC, at least 10% of people who rub their noses regularly. "occasionally practice mucophagia". Additionally, around 90% of adult people in the same survey admitted tearing their noses (a number that climbs to 99% in younger people). So the habit is unusual considering the extreme taboo that surrounds it.
  • As I said, for the most part, picking your nose is completely harmless, and as long as you're careful or not trying to stuff a fork up there or, in the vast majority of cases, get deep in your ankle, you're not going to do any permanent harm to yourself. However, choosing your nose is still listed as a major cause of nosebleeds. For example, in a 2001 study of rhinotillexomania (compulsive rhinoplasty), it was found that 25% of adolescent subjects who had their nose broken four times a day had nosebleeds as a result of their activities.
  • In a study published in 2006 on the association between nasal pecking and Staphylococcus aureus (a bacterium commonly associated with skin and sinus infections), they found that the presence of the bacterium was around 20% higher than in habitual nasal collectors for non-habitual pickers, their nose, suggesting a "causal link" between the two.
  • Since blowing dried snot from the nose sometimes requires a great deal of pressure, which can lead to damage to the nasal septum, it is generally recommended that you use a clean finger to gently remove the injuring nasal crusts instead of the 90% of adults who have stood up and proudly announced in the study above that they are nose pickers.
Cindy asks: This is kind of ewww, but I've read that eating your own boogers will boost your immune system. Is that true? Do Boogers Physically Rise Out Of The Nose, Put In The Mouth, And Swallow The Immune System? The short answer probably isn't. They pick up your snot all the time without channeling it