ISLAMABAD Canadian researchers have found a link between household cleaners and overweight children — a relationship that could be connected to gut bacteria.
The study analyzed the gut flora of 757 infants at 3 to 4 months, and their weight at ages 1 and 3 years. The researchers looked at exposure to disinfectants, detergents, and eco-friendly products used in the home.
They found that frequent use of household disinfectants like multi-surface cleaners was linked to lower levels of Haemophilus and Clostridium bacteria, but higher levels of Lachnospiraceae in the gut flora of babies 3 to 4 months old. Significantly, their body mass index (BMI) was higher at age 3.
Yet these same associations were not found with eco-friendly cleaners.
“Very surprising indeed,” said Dr. S. Daniel Ganjian, a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California. “While it has been shown that gut flora can affect obesity, no study has made such a strong connection with frequency of cleaning and types of product used with development of overweight/obesity.”