What Modern Baby Poop Can Tell Us About Human Health

At Care2, we’ve written extensively about how food allergies are on the rise, especially among children. It’s alarming how quickly food allergies and sensitivities seem to be increasing in frequency, but scientists may have discovered a connection, and it’s found in baby poop.

First, it’s important to note that many scientists believe the rise in food allergies may be related to gut health. Without healthy bacteria (probiotics) in the human digestive tract, humans are prone to gut disbiosis, a†situation†in which healthy bacteria, such as†Bifidobacteria, are scant, while unhealthy bacteria, such as those related to eczema, allergies and diabetes, proliferate.

A study that examined the pH levels of baby poop recently revealed that human gut health may be in an even more dire situation†that we once thought.

The Study

A study published in The American Society of Microbiology’s journal†mSphere†examined the fecal pH of newborn babies between 1926 and 2017. That’s quite a long time! Over the past 91 years, fecal pH levels have increased from 5.0 to 6.5, an increase that scientists say is significant.

When newborns digest milk, the Bifidobacteria in their digestive tracts produce acid in the process,†which in 1926 resulted†in an average pH balance of 5.0. That number is now much more alkaline, suggesting that there are significantly smaller populations of†Bifidobacteria in the infant gut.

Scientists assert that this is a major issue, because†Bifidobacteria are†a component of a healthy and well-functioning digestive system.

“This steady increase in the fecal pH of infants over the past several generations has largely gone unnoticed by the medical community, but looks to be an indication of a major disruption of the infant gut,” David Kyle, Chief Scientific Officer at Evolve BioSystems, Inc, said in a press release. “This may be a significant contributor to the incidence of allergic and autoimmune disorders.”

Reasons for Depleted†Bifidobacteria

There are many contributing factors that scientists suspect may be contributing to the problem. Among them, c-sections, formula feeding and antibiotics.

ďThese alarming changes to the infant gut microbiome and thus, gut environment, may be due to modern medical practices like antibiotics, C-sections, and formula feeding,” study co-author Dr. Jennifer Smilowitz said. “These are all potentially life-saving medical practices, but have unintended consequences on the infant gut microbiome. As a result, certain pathogenic bacteriaóthose linked to higher risk of health issues such as colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity, thrive.”

Moving Forward

With even more evidence now behind the growing focus on human gut health, the authors of the study are calling for better measures to test levels of healthy bacteria in babies’ guts. The researchers believe that if probiotics can be introduced when necessary, they may be able to steady the increase in food allergies and other health issues among children.

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31 comments

Diane Wayne
Diane Wayne2 months ago

This is just more evidence that the FDA is not doing a proper job of protecting the health of it's citizens. They allow all kinds of poisons and pollutants in food and products that are banned in other 1st world countries. Time for immediate change!

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JoAnn P
JoAnn Paris2 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson2 months ago

Thanks!

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Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Winnie A
Winn A2 months ago

Noted

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Winnie A
Winn A2 months ago

Thanks

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill2 months ago

thanks

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Angela G
Angela G2 months ago

k

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Sue L
Sue L2 months ago

This is interesting information.

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Angela J
Angela J2 months ago

Thanks

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