Could eating boogers benefit your health?

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It is a dirty habit that, at some time or another, every kid does. Children pick their nose and then that finger goes in the mouth.

Now, a new study says, as disgusting as it sounds, it might not be so bad for them.

Victor Douglas Hogue is four-years-old and says he sees kids picking their noses all the time.

I asked him what the kids do after they pick their nose. His response?

"They eat it."

Alera Waite is six-years-old and says she sees it too.

"What do you think about it?" I asked.

"It's gross," she said as she scrunched her nose. Her big brother, Dallin, agreed.

This really does not come as a surprise to anyone, especially Ingrid Hogue who works at the Learning Center in Tyler. She is also the mother of little Victor.

"I think every single one of them does it because the two-year-olds in my class do it quite a bit. They like to stick their fingers up their noses and eat them, and he does it too," she said with a smile as she pointed to Victor.

But, when I told kids and parents that picking your nose and eating it might have some health benefits, they were shocked.

"I don't see how that is," laughed Melissa Stokes, mother of two.

Doctor Scott Napper teaches an introductory course in bio molecules at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

He said he likes to keep things interesting in class so students pay attention, and that is exactly what he did when he brought up this hypotheses.

"We were talking about the different types of molecules that are present in mucus, and it's well known that there's a lot of sugar groups. And then we took it a little bit further and said maybe your mucus tastes sweet to tantalize you to eat it. Kids who sort of don't know any better or know any better that picking their nose and eating it may actually be training their immune system to the different types of pathogens and agents that may be present within the air," Dr. Napper said.

However, some parents are not sold on the idea.

"I'm not going to argue with him, but I don't want my kids eating boogers," Stokes said.

"It would take a lot of convincing," said mother of three, Sonya Stanfield.

An East Texas doctor is not so sure either.

"You are taking something that could potentially be infectious and putting it in a different part of your body. It's already in your body, I would be very doubtful that this would have any benefit at all," said Dr. Rick Harris, Diplomate American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

Dr. Napper said his research should take a few weeks and he already has a line of people wanting to participate.

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