Household disinfectants could be linked to child obesity
You might want to lay off spraying disinfectant all over your house.
ALBERTA, CANADA — Commonly used household disinfectants and multi-surface cleaners could be making children overweight by affecting their gut bacteria, according to a study published on Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Infants living in households where antimicrobial disinfectants were used at least once a week were twice as likely to have elevated levels of the bacteria Lachnospiraceae at ages 3 to 4 months than children whose homes did not use disinfectants frequently, according to CNN.
According to Anita Kozyrskyj, lead author of the study, higher levels of Lachnospiraceae in animal studies have been associated with higher body fat and insulin resistance.
Researchers collected stool samples from 757 infants and analyzed their body mass index, BMI, at older ages in addition to parental use of disinfectant products.
Scientists found that around 80 percent of Canadian households use disinfectant products at least once a week.
While the team found an increase in Lachnospiraceae with increased antimicrobial disinfectants, they did not find the same association in disinfectants without the bacteria-killing ingredients or eco-friendly cleaners.
"These results suggest that gut microbiota were the culprit in the association between disinfectant use and the overweight," said Kozyrskyj, according to CNN.
Though the results show connection between disinfectants and the gut microbiome, that does not imply causation.
According to Kozyrskyj, further studies need to be carried out to establish a causal relationship.
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