Popular Science

They don’t make baby poop like they did in 1926, that’s for sure. Here’s why scientists care.

Our stool is a window into the health of our guts.

baby playing

The pH of American babies' stool has gone up over the past 100 years. Some researchers think a loss of certain bacteria could be the cause.

Most of us do our best not to think too much about baby poop. But, as it turns out, stool has a lot more power than we think—and not just in terms of its pungent smell. Our poops can say a lot about our health, and that’s true from the first time we soil a diaper.

Recently, researchers have found that the bacteria that live inside our guts—known as the—are crucial to keeping us healthy. But understanding which bacteria help and which hurt—and how we can maintain a gut full of “healthy bacteria”—is still something that scientists are figuring out. Studying an infant’s stool might be a key way to do so.

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