I can’t believe I’m having to tell you this guys, but there are apparently serious health reasons which mean you should probably avoid eating your bogies.
I know, gross. Of all the things I wanted to be writing about this morning, I can guarantee it wasn’t people eating their snotty nose particles – but there you have it!
Anyway, the fact of the matter is that no matter how disgusting it may be to eat bogies, there’s actually a more serious health reason which should prevent you from doing so.
So what is it? Do they cause disease, do they get stuck inside us forever like we were told chewing gum would if we swallowed it when we were younger, or are they poisonous? Well, that last one might not be too far off the mark because it turns out swallowing bogies actually puts you at a greater risk of infection in the long run.
As reported by Business Insider, bogies are made up of water, gel-like proteins, and special immune proteins that fight off germs. These are particularly useful as bogies are brimming with harmful viruses such as influenza.
As such, bogies actually protect you from invading germs – if you keep them in your nose, that is. When you breathe in, you inhale bacteria, viruses, and dirt along with air. These get trapped by the snot inside your nostrils, and eventually harden.
Usually, you can get rid of that hard ball full of bacteria and germs (yum) by sneezing or blowing your nose. But if you eat it instead, you’re taking in all of the harmful things and as such are putting yourself at risk of infection.
This is because as your body digests the bogie, it can release those harmful pathogens into your system and cause havoc. Eurgh, just thinking about it is making me shudder.
And while some people claim that eating bogies is actually good for you and can strengthen your immune system, there’s actually no scientific evidence to support this.
In fact, there’s more and more evidence to support the opposite; with studies showing that even just picking your nose could harm you. A 2006 study found that nose-pickers were more likely to have Staphylococcus aureus in their nose than those who don’t rummage around in their nostrils.
If, like me, you zoned out during science lessons when you were younger, Staphylococcus aureus (or Staph) is a nasty bacteria that can cause skin infections and tend to be found underneath the fingernails. Hence why nose-pickers are more likely to have it inside their noses.
So maybe next time you feel the urge to have a lil rummage around in your nasal cavity for a snotty snack, just… don’t? If only so I don’t have to write articles about it again.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).