Could Household Cleaners Make Your Kid Fat?


After controlling for a wide range of other potential factors, the results found a clear, dose-dependent link between the mothers' reported use of disinfectant in the home, changes in the levels of some types of normal gut bacteria in their 3-4-month-old infants, and the children's weight at age 1 and 3 years.

The researchers looked at data from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort on microbes in infant fecal matter. "When they were three years mature, their body mass index change into once increased than formative years no longer uncovered to heavy home exhaust of disinfectants as an child".

These infants showed lower levels of Haemophilus and Clostridium bacteria but higher levels of Lachnospiraceae. A connection with the bacteria in a child's digestive system, obesity and overuse of household disinfectants has been found.

Researchers could not recommend that parents switch to ecologically friendly cleaning products because the causal link has not been found as of yet.

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"We each possess a unique gut microbiota but there are common patterns, there are common microbes that are expected to be found in childhood and in adulthood", she said.

Children from homes that use disinfectants at least twice a week are likely to have higher levels of the gut microbes Lachnospiraceae, the bacteria linked with obesity, at 3 to 4 months old compared to families that do not use common household cleaners as frequently.

On the other hand, the use of eco-friendly products was associated with decreased odds of overweight or obesity independently of Enterobacteriaceae abundance.

Rather, Tun believes that mothers in households using a lot of eco products may eat healthier food and, thus, have healthier microbiomes during pregnancy, which may in turn have a positive impact on the newborn microbiome and later weight gain.

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Anita Kozyrskyj, U of A paediatrics professor and principal investigator on the SyMBIOTA project said, "We didn't just find an association". "Our study provides novel information regarding the impact of these products on infant gut microbial composition and outcomes of overweight in the same population".

The CHILD research study birth cohort has been created to assess the impact of indoor environmental exposures, including household cleaning products, on postnatal health. "Our "mediation" statistical analysis suggests that a gut microbiome enriched with Lachnospiraceae early in infancy was likely directly responsible for children becoming overweight or obese".

Babies living in households that used eco-friendly cleaners had different microbiota and were less likely to be overweight as toddlers.

Kozyrskyj said one finding in the new study surprised the research team. They also note that that further research will now be needed. "I want to emphasise that our findings on the disinfectant exhaust were at the increased conclude of exhaust".

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"This study is the first to examine mixtures of chemicals that are widely used in personal care products in relation to hormones in healthy, reproductive-age women, using multiple measures of exposure across the menstrual cycle, which improved upon research that relied on one or two measures of chemicals", Pollack noted.