Spitting on the street is one of the unpleasant things that many people do. They probably think that swallowing phlegm is harmful and dangerous to he alth, so they prefer to spit it out. It makes sense that this should be the case, but science says otherwise.
Is it dangerous to swallow your phlegm? The short answer is no.
It turns out that swallowing phlegm poses no he alth risks. Phlegm is a natural secretion that flows from the upper respiratory tract into the oral cavity. They are a mixture of water, body mucus, s alt and antibodies that are formed when you inhale and exhale. This secretion is a natural mechanism that the sinuses have to clear themselves. The function of phlegm is to collect waste substances and remove them from the body to prevent blockage of the nose, sinuses and upper respiratory tract, says Dr. Brett Comer of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, quoted by he althdigest.com.
Sputum most often appears or increases in quantity due to various irritants - allergens, viral infections or simply microorganisms from the environment that have entered the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract. All of them trigger an immune response in which the sputum becomes saturated with the corresponding antibodies.
Will something happen to our he alth in such a case if we swallow this "cocktail" of substances?
Whatever elements and antibodies the sputum is full of, swallowing it does not pose a he alth hazard. When swallowed, they end up in the stomach, which has sufficiently thick walls and is full of stomach acids. They have the property of breaking down anything that enters the stomach, thus safely breaking down phlegm and its contents, moving it out of the body further into the digestive tract.
Swallowing your own phlegm is safe for your he alth. Experts from the scientific journal Science Focus explain that phlegm contains mucus saturated with substances that have entered our lungs and nose, and which are safely removed from the body through this mechanism.Pushing phlegm from the upper respiratory tract into the digestive tract is a normal process that nature has ordained in dealing with pathogens.
When pathogens, bacteria, microorganisms, virus particles and other impurities in phlegm enter the stomach, stomach acids do all the dirty work. The other good news is that once in the stomach, these pathogens do not have direct access to the bloodstream, which protects the body against them.