Study finds that men with beards carry more germs than dogs

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Long, short, hipster, well-groomed or overgrown. There are those who love it, those who hate it, but now scientists assure it that it contains more germs than dog hair. What are we talking about? About the beard, read this curious research that already makes a lot of discussion.


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Long, short, hipster, well-groomed or overgrown. There are those who love it, those who hate it, but now scientists assure it that it contains more germs than dog hair. What are we talking about? About the beard, read this curious research that already makes a lot of discussion.




How did we come to this conclusion? First of all let's say that the purpose of the research was not to find out if the beard was clean or not, but to determine if humans could run health risks, using the same machine where a dog MRI was done earlier.

The MRI scanner can, in fact, also be used for veterinary examinations. Everything started from here. And the result really surprised everyone, because according to the scientists there is nothing to worry about using the same machine, because even men's beards would contain more germs than animal hair.

Very often veterinary clinics do not buy MRI machines, but rely on those used for humans. However, as Dr. Andrew Gutzeit of the St. Anna Clinic in Lucerne, access is usually given to four-legged friends when the equipment is underused. The main reason would be hygiene.

The research: Beard vs dog hair

This is why the scientists wanted to understand if this is actually the case. During the study, 30 dogs of 16 different breeds were placed inside the machinery where more than 8 human scanners are usually made a year.

18 bearded men were then identified: the volunteers lay down in the machinery of a clinic in Lucerne where animals had never been analyzed. So the team, taking a small sample of beard and dog hair, using swabs for both, did this research.

The men were on average 36 years old, the dogs 3,8 years old (similar age). Test results say these volunteers' beards were less hygienic than the dog's coat and contained more germs. What does this mean, that the human mouth is more contaminated than that of dogs?



All humans had a high burden of germs found in only three quarters of animals. Seven of the men (39%) also had pathogens (Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus), found in only four dogs.

A similar image was found in mouth-to-mouth swabs. A high number of germs were found in 17 out of 18 humans, but only in 12 out of 30 dogs. However, potentially dangerous germs were found only in humans (Serratia marcescens), but in at least two thirds of dogs (Pasteurella, E coli, E. faecalis).

“Based on the results, dogs can be considered cleaner than bearded men,” the researchers write in the study.

The research could not fail to arouse controversy and there are those who questioned the report, saying that it is only a question of pogonophobia, or fear of the beard!



What do you think?

Read also:

  • Is the hipster beard a breeding ground for bacteria?
  • Shaving: the 5 ways to get a green beard

Dominella Trunfio

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