You might want to think twice before puckering up with that gorgeous stranger in a nightclub - because according to a new study, a ten-second French kiss spreads 80million bacteria. If that's not enough to sober you up, we're not sure what is.
Remco Kort, a professor and scientist at Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), led the research, which is published in journal Microbiome. To kick things off, he asked 21 couples to head to a zoo in the Netherlands, where they had their tongues swabbed before and after kissing.
The bacteria on the tongues of couples was found to be much more similar than that on the tongues of two strangers.
To test their theory further, researchers then asked one person in the couple to have a probiotic drink, wait a while and then kiss their partner again. The probiotic bacteria, which usually isn't found in the mouth, transferred - along with 80million other bacteria. What's more, a survey found that the couples who kiss the most shared the largest amount of bacteria.
“Apparently, being with somebody for an extended amount of time and having a relationship leads to a similar collection of bacteria on the tongue,” Remco said.
It might sound icky, but Remco insists it's actually a good thing. For one, it can act as a form of immunisation and build up your resistance to microorganisms.
He added: “If you look at it from this point of view, kissing is very healthy.”
Of course it depends who you're kissing and the bacteria they carry. And it also depends on the type of kiss. A dry peck only spreads around 1,000 bacteria, while passionate make-out sessions spread millions.
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