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Nose Picking Good for You?: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A researcher at the University of Saskatchewan is raising some eyebrows with his new research proposal looking at the health benefits of picking your nose and eating it. Here’s what you need to know about this strange science.


1) Natural Inclination?

Scott Napper, a biochemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan believes nature pushes humans to behaviours that benefit survival in some way.

He hypothesises that humans eating their own boogers has some sort of yet-to-be-discovered benefit.


2) Possible Immune Benefits

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(via Michael Bentley/Flickr)

Napper wants to explore the idea that consuming pathogens caught within sinus mucus can be a way to teach our immune systems about what it’s surrounded with.

His proposal seems to make sense from an evolutionary standpoint.

“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,” he told CBC News.


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3) Let Kids Be Kids

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(via quinnums/Flickr)

Nappers says that parents shouldn’t get too upset if they catch their children with a finger up their nose.

“I’ve got two beautiful daughters and they spend an amazing amount of time with their fingers up their nose,” he told CBC News. “And without fail, it goes right into their mouth afterwards. Could they just be fulfilling what we’re truly meant to do?”


4) Frequent Habit

Even though many will deny it, according to Dr. Oz, people pick their nose on average about five times every hour. “I’m talking about just going to your nose… not trying to touch your brain,” he says.



5) Any Volunteers?

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(via therealbrute/Flickr)

Napper is hoping to have a group of volunteers where half have a molecule put into their snot and the other half don’t. He then wants to see if that molecule triggers an immune response when ingested.

“I think the challenge would be getting volunteers to participate in this experiment,” he told the National Post. “Especially if you didn’t know which group you were going to fall into.”

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