Canada: cleaning products could affect infant gut and raise BMI

07 November 2018

Antibacterial cleaning products could be altering children’s gut flora – making them more likely to be overweight, a study says.

Frequent use of household disinfectants had the strongest association with altered gut flora, but researchers did not find the same association with detergents or eco-friendly cleaners.

The report, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, analysed the gut flora of 757 babies between three and four months, and their weight at ages one and three.

Principal investigator Anita Kozyrskyjof said: ‘Infants living in households with disinfectants being used at least weekly were twice as likely to have higher levels of the gut microbes Lachnospiraceae at age three to four months; when they were three years old, their body mass index was higher than children not exposed to heavy home use of disinfectants as an infant.’

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