Science says you absolutely shouldn't pick your nose and eat it 11 months ago

Science says you absolutely shouldn't pick your nose and eat it

To be honest, we didn't think you need science to tell you not to, ya dirty buggers

Make that boogers*, on second thought.


According to Business Insider and some scientists who will no doubt be surprised where their career path has taken them, eating your bogies is categorically bad for you. Well, yeah, hardly a nutritious meal comprised of at least one of your five a day, is it?

While we weren't surprised to learn that around 90% of adults pick their noses (don't even try and pretend, it's not worth it), the thought of how many of those people then go on to eat their findings doesn't bear thinking about. In fact, the entire notion that we will never know - let's face it, how many people are going to admit to that? - is part of what makes you feel so queasy.

Maybe you know some of them. Maybe you shook their hand. Maybe you're one of them...


That being said, science is not telling you dirty pigs to pack it in, as despite being seemingly harmless little gooey things, what little 'protein' is in that meal is usually "teeming with harmful viruses, like influenza".

While the whole point of the of bogies (which are, essentially, mainly water-based but with gel-like immune proteins) is to fight off germs that might try and invade the body, eating them pretty much defeats the object.

As well as protecting you from bacteria and viruses, they also stop you from breathing in dirt, dust and other detritus that, once again, are categorically not good for you. It's a pretty easy one to remember, to be honest: anything that lives in your nose probably isn't worth eating.

Furthermore, should you decide to snack on solidified snot, you're basically just putting yourself at risk of infections as those harmful pathogens are released back into your body as your stomach digests them. Simple.


Now, for those who somehow try to claim eating bogies can strengthen your immune system - a la, 'let your kids play in the dirt', 'that's how immunisations and vaccines are made' - in this case, it's total bollocks. There's currently no science to suggest any benefits to eating bogies: your simply giving microbes and express ticket to your tummy where they're likely to get you poorly.

For instance, the most common kind of bacteria they contain is Staphylococcus aureus or 'Staph' - the same stuff you find under your nails. Again, why would you want to eat anything from that region?

A 2006 study found that nose-pickers were more likely to have Staph in their nose than those who abstain, which can go on to cause serious abscesses and pus-filled pockets inside your nose and even on your face.

To make matter worse, if you picking your nose too much and too fervourously, you could end up puncturing your septum; according to Business Insider, "a 53-year-old woman managed to carve a hole right through her sinus", adding that "if that sinus becomes infected badly enough, it can erode your skull, leaving a door open for bacteria to march right into your brain". Grim.


So, for the last time, please: STOP EATING YOUR BOGIES—not even the hard and crusty ones. Don't listen to Dustin Hoffman in Meet the Fockers, it's a film and he's not a doctor. You're not digging up gold, you're digging up dirt, both literally and figuratively on yourself.