Moms, we now have another excuse when our house is a mess!
More and more research is showing we may be going too far to eliminate germs and keeping your house spick-and-span may not be healthy for your family.
Kids need a little dirt and grime to improve their own immunity and this may also be true for their weight now too.
A recent study published in the Canadian Medial Association Journal claims that common cleaning products might be linked to childhood obesity. This research found that exposure to disinfectants and detergents used in the home, could alter the gut bacteria in infants and make them more prone to being overweight. This study analyzed the gut flora of 757 infants at 3 to 4 months, and their weight at ages 1 and 3 years.
The fecal samples showed that 3 and 4 month old infants exposed to antibacterial cleaners weekly had higher levels of a type of gut bacteria called Lachnospiraceae that zaps extra energy out of food, USA Today reported. These babies were more likely to be overweight or obese by age 3, the research indicated.
These same associations were not found with eco-friendly cleaners.
New born babies are born with little to no bacteria in their gut which is then inoculated during their first 3-7 years of life through exposure. This is why we need to be more aware of what they breathe in, eat, put on their skin and touch. Formaldehyde, phenol, benzene and toluene have been found in common household cleaners and have been linked to cancer and toxic to the immune system.
This new claim that toxic chemicals could be causing your child to be overweight maybe a stretch since the study didn’t factor in other important influencers of gut bacteria like diet, antibiotic use, the overweight status of the mother before pregnancy, etc. but it is worth thinking about since these products have proven to be harmful to the body.
It is still not clear how exactly gut bacteria is actually capable of making us fat or keeping us thin. We do know that there is evidence that environmental factors can affect our weight gain. If bacteria plays a role in how we burn fat and keep weight off, then it’s worth looking more into what other external factors may influence our weight.
What can you do?
Switch to eco-friendly cleaners at home or make your own. This site has a list of non-toxic products you can buy or make yourself for various household cleaning needs.
The “5 second rule” applies in my house so I am glad we have been switching products and becoming more aware of the dangers of toxic chemicals in the home.