It Turns Out There’s a Surprising Health Benefit to Biting Your Nails

Maybe it’s not such a bad habit after all?

woman biting nails

If you bite your nails, you’ve probably been on a quest since, oh, forever to quit. But a new study has found that it’s actually doing you a solid in the health department. (Your nails, however, are a different story).

According to the research, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, children who are nail-biters and thumb-suckers are less likely to developallergies later in life.

or the study, scientists followed more than 1,000 people born in New Zealand from the early ‘70s into adulthood, where they tested them for allergies. Those who were nail-biters or thumb-suckers were less likely to be allergic to things like dust mites, grass, cats, dogs, horses, or airborne fungi. And, if kids did both, they were even less likely to be affected. Bad childhood habits, FTW

Scientists figured this out by doing a skin prick allergy test on the study participants when they were 13 and 32 years old. They also took note of whether they were a nail-biter or thumb-sucker when they were younger (more than 30 percent of kids had at least one of the habits).

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At 13 years old, 45 percent of the total participants had some kind of allergic reaction from the skin test, while just 40 percent of those who had an oral fixation had some kind of reaction. But only 30 percent of those who were nail-biters and thumb-suckers had allergies. That stayed consistent throughout adulthood and made no difference in whether they grew up with pets or were regularly exposed to house dust mites.

 OK, but why the link? Researchers say it has to do with early exposure to dirt and germs. Basically, if you’re sucking (or biting) down all of those germs from an early age, your body builds up an immunity to them and reduces the odds that you’ll have an allergic reaction when you’re exposed to them later in life.

Scientists say they don’t necessarily encourage that kids take up these habits but point out that at least there’s an upside.

Source by womenshealthmag….