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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (CBS Local) – Could dirty diapers hold the key to preventing cancer? A team of scientists is claiming that baby poop contains beneficial bacteria that can be turned into a cancer-fighting “cocktail.”
Probiotics – or substances that reportedly promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the body – are being advertised in all sorts of products from yogurt, to bread, to dog food. Now, researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine say they’ve created a probiotic cocktail using “gut bacteria strains found in infant feces,” according to a statement.
Researchers say the poop-produced probiotic may help the body create more short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). “Short-chain fatty acids are a key component of good gut health,” lead investigator Hariom Yadav said. “People with diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disorders and cancers frequently have fewer short-chain fatty acids.”
The report in the Aug. 23 edition of Scientific Reports took diaper samples from 34 infants, taking the most promising “samples” to make their feces-based mixture. Scientists added that if their tests on mice prove successful, dirty diapers could finally be recycled into a useful material.
“Babies are usually pretty healthy and clearly do not suffer from age-related diseases, such as diabetes and cancer,” Yadav explained. “And, of course, their poop is readily available.”