How Mouth Germs Shape Attraction

New research suggests that in addition to good looks, charm and intelligence, a person’s body germs may also play a role in love.

Our human body is home to 100 trillion microbes, known together as the micro biome. In fact, bacterial cells in the human body be more than human cells by a ratio of 10 to 1. In recent year’s research, scientists have found that these groups of organisms are vital for human metabolism and immune system function.

“So it shouldn’t be astonishing that [the micro biome] has effects not only on metabolic progressions, but on the way we look at things … and even in sexual attraction,” said Dr. William Miller, a retired physician, the great & evolutionary biologist and author of the book “The Microcosm Within: Evolution and Extinction in the Hologenome” (Universal Publishers, 2013).

Kiss of life

Mouth Germs Shape Attraction

The Scientists are starting to discover just how large a role these tiny residents play in human lives. For example, microbes may be unseen musicians in the complex orchestra of human attraction. “We are being supplied by a number of unseen cues we just didn’t grasp were there,” Miller said.

In November 2014, Dutch scientists published a research in the journal Microbiome that found that pair have similar microbial groups in their mouths, and a 10-second kiss can transfer up to millions of bacteria.

In that study, scientists gave 21 couples at the Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam (including two gay couples) surveys about their kissing habits, including how frequently they kissed in the past year and how much time had conceded since their last intimate kiss. Then the researchers cleansed the couples’ mouths to determine the bacterial makeup on their tongues before and after a kiss.

The more often the couples smooched, the more alike their oral microbial groups were, the researchers found. In addition, the couples’ tongue bacteria were more similar than those in their saliva.

In the same study, the researchers examined one member of each couple to drink a probiotic yogurt containing the “marker” bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifido bacteria, before engaging in a 10-second kiss with their partner. When the scientists tested the mouth bacteria of the individual who didn’t drink the yogurt, the amount of these marker microbes had tripled, amounting to about 80 million new bacteria.

But there’s some extra to the story. The bacteria on the upper of the couples’ tongues were more alike to each other than to those of strangers, but this similarity did not correlate with the frequency of kissing. Instead, the couples possibly share similar microbes because they have similar life styles, living environments or genetics, the researchers said.

The following two tabs change content below.

Meredith Little

World News Journalist from Dublin, Ireland. Meredith has been with the Pluto Daily since October of 2013.