The surprising discovery was made by researchers from the University of Alberta who studied data from AllerGens' Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development or CHILD to investigate the link between cleaning products and overweight children.
They used World Health Organisation (WHO) growth charts for body mass index (BMI) scores.
Frequent use of multisurface cleaners (disinfectants) were strongly associated with altered gut flora in babies at 3-4 months age.
Kozyrskyj said researchers also found there was a greater increase in levels of those bacteria in children whose parents reported more frequent cleaning with disinfectants. For example, animal studies have found similar changes in the gut bacteria of piglets when exposed to disinfectants, 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.
The results of the study showed that infants in households with high use of environmentally friendly cleansers had decreased odds of becoming overweight or obese.
"We figured out that infants living in households with disinfectants being dilapidated a minimum of weekly were twice as likely to occupy increased ranges of the intestine microbes Lachnospiraceae at age Three-four months", feedback Anita Kozyrskyj, Ph.D., a College of Alberta pediatrics professor, and fundamental investigator on the SyMBIOTA challenge, an investigation into how adjustment of the baby intestine microbiome impacts on kid's health. However, it was not understood if these gut microbiome changes directly reduced their obesity risk.
Based on the study, the researchers argue eliminating disinfectant agents in your home can help protect your infant's gut microbiome and reduce the risk of weight gain and obesity. These cleaners are either homemade or store-bought cleaners that use natural ingredients such as vinegar, peroxide, baking soda, citric acid or essential oils, Kozyrskyj noted. This behavior could promote a healthy gut microbiomes and weight in their babies. Children's exposure to disinfectants, detergents and eco-friendly products in the home was also measured using the mothers' responses to questionnaires. "In the case of the eco-friendly products, I must admit that we were a bit surprised".
"Antibacterial cleaning products have the capacity to change the environmental microbiome and alter risk for child overweight", wrote the authors. The researchers also analyzed fecal samples from the infants primitive Three-four months, and adopted their vogue, at the side of measurements of height and weight. "Attributable to this is a first glance, confirmatory analysis in other cohorts is required", Dr. Kozyrskyj acknowledges.
US cleaning products representatives said the study made "sensational claims".