Men with beards carry more germs than dog fur: Study

Men's beards contain more harmful bacteria than dog fur. Source: Getty

It’s bad news for men everywhere as a new study found there are more germs in men’s beards than in dog fur.

According to a study obtained by The Mail, researchers at the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland took swabs from the beards of 18 men and the necks of 30 canines of various breeds.

The team, who were testing whether humans could contract dog-borne diseases from a MRI scanner shared by canines, found all the bearded men, who were aged 18 to 76, showed high microbial counts, while only 23 out of 30 dogs had the same. Seven of the beards sampled contained germs that posed a genuine threat to human health.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Andreas Gutzeit of Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic said: “The researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from the men’s beards compared with the dogs’ fur.

“On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean compared with bearded men.”

Researchers also wiped down the MRI scanner after examining the dogs, and found a ‘significantly’ lower bacteria count compared with levels seen when used by humans.

Meanwhile, it comes a recent study revealed stress really does make your hair grey. The research team, who published their findings in science journal PLOS Biology, found that when the body gets stressed, such as fighting a virus or bacteria, this has a double-effect. 

As well as our immune system kicking into gear, it also triggers changes in the cells in hair follicles which produce colour. This in turn makes our hair turn silvery or grey.

The study, carried out on mice, found that when the body is under attack our cells produce chemical signals called interferons. These interferons make our cells’ machinery undergo changes that ward-off viruses and generally boost defences. But the unexpected side effect of the defence system is that it turns off cells that produce hair colour.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a beard?

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