It's a pretty widely accepted rule: do not pick your nose, and definitely don't eat it. Turns out, those kids might have been on to something.

I know - boogers are kind of a gross topic. But, the foundation of this story was published in none other than The New York Times, so you know there's something to it.

Here's the deal: we're too clean today. We use too much hand-sanitizer, we take too many antibiotics. All this "cleaning" makes our immune system weaker and less prepared to deal with possible infections and allergens. It also means our body kinda over-reacts to irritants like pollen.

Don't get me wrong - when scientists finally pieced together germ theory - that was good thing. It's just that we went a little too far.

So what does that mean? 

Well, according to Dr. Meg Lemon, a dermatologist in Denver who treats people with allergies and autoimmune disorders, when we drop food on the floor - follow the 5-second rule - pick it up and eat it.

“Get rid of the antibacterial soap. Immunize! If a new vaccine comes out, run and get it. I immunized the living hell out of my children. And it’s O.K. if they eat dirt.”

Dr. Lemon’s prescription for a better immune system doesn’t end there. “You should not only pick your nose, you should eat it,” she said.

“Our immune system needs a job,” Dr. Lemon said. “We evolved over millions of years to have our immune systems under constant assault. Now they don’t have anything to do.”

So maybe mom was wrong when she said we shouldn't eat our boogers, and dad was a little closer to correct when he said we should "rub some dirt in" our cuts and scrapes and get back outside to play.


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