Tests on the beards of random men found more than 100 types of bacteria. Found bacteria competed for space and killed each other like antibiotics.
By KATE PICKLES FOR MAILONLINE. PUBLISHED: 21 January 2016.
They may have increasing become the go-to fashion accessory for men, hanging off the faces of Hollywood actors, Shoreditch hipsters, and even royalty.
But the debate over whether the big and bushy look is actually a health hazard has divided opinion as much as whether or not it is a good look.
Images of trapped food or a runny nose tricking down into the course strands of facial hair put many people off sporting the likes of the Hollywoodian and the Old Dutch.
And a recent study in New Mexico found traces of enteric bacteria, the sort usually found in faeces, in randomly sampled beards.
Now an experiment on the BBCs Trust Me I’m a Doctor claims to have settled the debate once and for all.
In fact, the programme has discovered that beards could potentially be harbouring the next generation of antibiotics.
Dr Chris van Tulleken wandered the streets of Camden in search of willing subjects with facial hair. ‘Are we surrounding our mouths with giant microbial mats and if so, could it be doing us harm?’ he asked. He swabbed the beards of a random assortment of 20 men before sending them off to be tested.