This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
Thumb-sucking has always seen as an unruly habit. Similarly, nail-biting was viewed as a nervous characteristic. Parents always swatted their toddler’s fingers away from their mouths, trying their best as the gate keeper of germs.
Let’s bring back these finger-in-the-mouth manners. Apparently, such quirks have 1 crazy benefit.
According to a new study, those who nibble at their nails and suck their thumbs have a lower risk for developing allergies.
“The study was done to test the hygiene hypothesis: the idea that reduced exposure to microbial organisms, in other words increased hygiene, is responsible for the rise in allergic diseases seen over recent decades,” said Dr. Bob Hancox, one of the study’s directors.
The New Zealand study tracked the habits of 1,000 children born between 1972 and 1973 as they aged. According to the report, the children (with their parents) were questioned at age 5, 7, 9 and 11.
At 13, the kids were tested for allergies. They were tested again at 32.
The results of the tests were remarkable. It showed the risk of developing allergies was reduced by thirty to forty percent for those who bit their nails and sucked their thumbs. The researchers theorized that the children had greater contact to various germs, which entered their bodies, resulting in a boost of their immune systems.
Although more data is required before conclusions can be drawn, hopefully the study leads the way towards serious allergy prevention.
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