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A passionate kiss is an intimate gesture between lovers to show their love for each other. But a new study shows that through a kiss we not only share our love but also pass on to our partner more than 80 million bacteria. It sounds gross, we know, but scientists say that it may not be such a bad thing. Sharing bacteria, we mean.
The new study showing there are more than 80 million bacteria in a single kiss was published in the Microbiome Journal. The study shows that during a 10-second French kiss (a kiss that involved tongues), couple swap around 80 million bacteria from one to the other.
The scientist in charge of the new study is Remco Kort from the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research. The researcher asked some couples who were visiting the Amsterdam Artis Royal Zoo if they wanted to participate in his study. Kort told them the study involved French kissing and 21 couple agreed to take part in the research.
Kort inspected the couples’ mouths to see what and how many types of bacteria there are inside. After doing it, the scientist found out that the couples who are in a relationship share more similar bacteria than two people who are not in an intimate relationship.
Before kissing, one member of the couple was given to drink a yogurt. The yogurt is known to contain probiotic bacteria not found in the human mouth on a regular basis. The couples were asked to kiss after drinking the yogurt.
Kort found that the yogurt bacteria were transferred between the couples, along with other 80 million bacteria.
Although the results of the study might make you think twice before kissing again, the fact that we swap bacteria with our partners might actually prove to be a healthy thing. Scientists believe that sharing bacteria makes our own mouth bacteria more diverse, which can help boost our immune system to fight other illnesses.
Kort said in an interview about his new study that:
“Exposing yourself to more microorganisms has a kind of immunological effect. There are a number of studies that show if the diversity in bacteria increases — more different types of species — this is a good thing. If you look at it from this point of view, kissing is very healthy.”