Disinfectants make you fat.

Is constantly disinfecting our hands because of COVID making us fat? Science says so.


A cat looking at a window

It looks like exposure to common household cleaning products during infancy could be making our children gain weight.


Let’s nut out the science to see if products we use to clean our homes be making your us obese?


The Bugs on your body keep you thin


“The issue is that many modern chemicals kill these bugs. Without these good bugs, your body reacts and becomes inflamed causing a wide range of medical conditions.”

The hygiene hypothesis is a theory that says that the bugs which live on your body help keep you healthy. The issue is that many modern chemicals kill these bugs. Without these good bugs, your body reacts and becomes inflamed causing a wide range of medical conditions. Cases of chronic inflammation and associated diseases (diabetes, obesity, etc.) have been rising over the last couple of decades and it may be due to excessive sanitation interfering with the natural balance of microorganisms (the microbiome) in our bodies.


Show me the proof?

Research shows that modern detergents, disinfectants, and other cleaning products increase the risk of breathing difficulties in children and parents.


This is a really new field of study which means there is limited research into associations between detergents and obesity. A recent study identified high levels of the active ingredient in antibacterial products (triclosan) in overweight adolescent's urine. Another study showed that piglets exposed to disinfectants had altered gut bacteria.



Disinfectants make children fat


Children exposed to disinfectants had a higher body mass index (BMI) at 3 years old than other children.”

Canadian researchers analysed the gut bacteria of over seven hundred babies and looked at their exposure to disinfectants. They found a link between the use of disinfectants in the home and changes in some types of normal gut bacteria in their 3–4-month-old infants. Infants living in households with disinfectants being used at least weekly were twice as likely to have higher levels Lachnospiraceae gut bacteria at age 3–4 months. Children exposed to disinfectants had a higher body mass index (BMI) at 3 years old than other children. They also tested so called eco-friendly disinfectants and found the same negative outcomes.


Back in my day...

There is a growing body of scientific research showing that disinfectants, even if they are “eco-friendly” pose a risk to your children’s health. Your grandparents survived after eating dirt and climbing trees. Maybe it is time we stopped worrying about a little dirt. It might be good for you.


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Reference:


Tun et al. Postnatal exposure to household disinfectants, infant gut microbiota and subsequent risk of overweight in children. CMAJ. 2018 Sep 17;190(37):E1097-E1107. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.170809.

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