Eating boogers: healthy, unhealthy or just disgusting?

Child picking his nose: Some children pick their nose thoughtfully, others very intensely.Child picking his nose: Some children pick their nose thoughtfully, others very intensely. (Source: ia_64/getty-images-bilder)

Anyone caught popping should be ashamed. That is the common opinion. But picking your nose can also strengthen the immune system.

Children often pick their noses and absentmindedly eat their snot. Adults are also said to have been caught enjoying themselves with their fingers up their noses. Is that healthy or disgusting? And what happens in the body when you eat the dried nasal secretion?

Nasal mucus promotes oral hygiene

Booger is generally considered disgusting and is met with furrowed foreheads and wrinkled noses when it is observed. However, American researchers from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology claim: The stabbed prey can help against tooth decay.

There are so-called salivary mucins in the nasal mucosa, which form a barrier against tooth decay bacteria in the mouth. Where the snot is spread on the teeth, the bacteria have a hard time settling. Eating booger not only clears your nose, according to the study it also promotes dental health.

The scientists see the nasal secretion not just as a particle filter that traps germs in the nose, but as a bioactive material with strong powers against microbes.

However, this does not mean that consuming nasal secretions replaces brushing your teeth. Because the boogers aren’t that effective after all, according to the scientists. And add that it is still not harmful to eat a few boogers. These, along with the dirt, bacteria and viruses they contain, are broken down in the stomach by stomach acid anyway.

Popping strengthens the immune system

A study from Austria also supports popping in the nose. This is how Dr. Friedrich Bischinger, an independent pulmonologist, found in a study that people who pick their noses are healthier. “It makes more sense to drill, poke – and of course you can breathe better, that also depends on the size of the booger. This is also mechanical cleaning,” says the expert. And if you supply your body with more oxygen, you also strengthen your immune system.

For Bischinger, popping is a cheap and quick alternative to nasal douching – which is still much healthier and better for cleaning the nose.

Is eating popel healthy?

The scientists go on to say that it is not harmful to occasionally eat a few boogers. It is important that the fingers that enter the nose are clean. And your fingernails should also be as short as possible. This can prevent nosebleeds and inflammation.It is also important not to remove any crusts. This could then lead to irritation of the mucous membrane. And that in turn stimulates them to produce even more nasal secretions and thus boogers.


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