The Connection Between Household Cleaners and Gut Bacteria

The surprising reason to start opting for eco-friendly cleaning products.

The Connection Between Household Cleaners and Gut Bacteria

Medically reviewed in February 2021

When it comes to bringing cleaning products into your home, you might want to take a moment to think about how they could affect the health of you and your children.

A recent Canadian study asserts that commonly used household cleaners may be causing weight gain in children by altering their gut microbiota, and calls disruptive, gut-altering chemicals such as triclosan “obesogens.” The researchers say that such ingredients increase some types of gut bacteria and decrease others, and that interferes with healthy absorption of nutrients and management of glucose levels. They also say that in households that opt for eco-friendly products, the odds that toddlers living there would be overweight or obese are greatly reduced.

Are you worried that those high-powered bacteria-killing products (bacteria on the counter and in your gut) are needed to keep the house clean? They are not! Products such as apple cider vinegar and lemons do just as good, if not better, a job of KO-ing disease-causing bacteria. Dr. Oz’s favorite spray cleaner: 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap; 2 cups hot tap water; 3 tablespoons white vinegar; 1 tablespoon borax.

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