Nose-picking is not an unusual habit. According to studies from 1995, around 91 percent of people pick their noses from time to time. But, this gross yet common habit might be dangerous, as a university professor recently revealed.
Picking your nose is linked to risks of Alzheimer's disease
The head of the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, Professor St John, shared a lesser-known reason why you should stop picking your nose for good.
In his TikTok video, the professor said:
"Picking your nose or plucking the hairs from your nose is probably not a good idea, particularly if you don't want to get Alzheimer's disease."
He explained, "If you damage the nose lining, you can increase how many bacteria can go up into your brain."
St John then shared that research found that certain bacteria are linked to developing Alzheimer's.
The bacteria, called Chlamydia Pneumoniae, can get to your brain through the nerves of the nasal cavity, Griffith University researchers confirmed.
Once it is inside, in a matter of days, the brain cells deposit beta-amyloid peptide, creating a pathway to Alzheimer's disease.
Associate Professor Ekberg, who was part of the research team, explained that the cells are "important defenders against bacteria." Still, they can "help the bacteria to spread if they get infected."
@griffith_uni Digging for gold, nose mining, caddyshacking.. whatever you call it, this universal habit might not be as harmless as once thought! Griffith Researcher Professor James St John explains why we should keep our fingers out of there...😳🤧#UniTok #Research ♬ original sound - Griffith University
The study was developed over the years
The team suspected that bacteria or even a virus could be linked to Alzheimer's, and they were the first to prove it.
However, "the bacteria alone may not be enough to cause disease in someone," Ekberg stated, adding that perhaps: "it requires the combination of a genetic susceptibility plus the bacteria to lead to Alzheimer's disease in the long term."
Going back to Professor St John's video, he explained:
"Once the bacteria get into the olfactory nerve, it's only a short and very quick journey for them to get up into the brain where they can start causing these pathologies of Alzheimer's disease."
The study lasted for several years and required researchers to grow their own cells, infect them, and see the reactions.
Professor St John suggests smell tests for Alzheimer's
Though one part of the study was concluded, Professor St John claims there is still a long way to go. He suggested that smell tests might be a good part of the screening process for the disease, adding:
"Once you get over 65 years old, your risk factor goes right up, but we're looking at other causes because it's not just age. It is environmental exposure as well. And we think that bacteria and viruses are critical."
There are many reasons you should stop picking your nose
No one is saying that the nasty habit of picking your nose will undoubtedly lead to Alzheimer's, but there is enough evidence for anyone to start working on breaking this habit.
Among other reasons why you should stop picking your nose are septum damage, nose bleeding, various infections, and nasal cavity damage.
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.