Household Cleaning Products Affect Babies’ Guts and Weight

Disinfectants Linked to Health Concerns




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The heavy use of household cleaning disinfectants may contribute to changes in infant gut bacteria and weight gain, reports a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. University of Alberta researchers collected fecal samples and studied the gut health of 757 babies between the ages of 3 and 4 months; then restudied the children at 1 and 3 years old. They found that children in households that used disinfectants at least once a week had higher body mass index (BMI) scores and elevated levels of Lachnospiraceae, gut microbes linked in other studies to insulin resistance and metabolic disorders. Babies in households that used vinegar or other eco-friendly cleaners had lower BMI scores and much lower levels of a family of bacteria that includes E. coli.


This article appears in the April 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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