Sometimes timing is everything. I recently FINALLY had my (almost) lifelong dream come true, installing a  self-care-haven-outdoor-bath and guess what, a few days later I stumbled across an exciting study talking about the benefits of baths! But it’s not in the traditional hydrotherapy way you might be thinking.  It requires at least one co-bather…or more 😉

About now you (and my recently relocated kids) may be wondering exactly how big I’ve gone with the bath.  Relax it’s smaller than the one in this image.  Promise.  But  based on this recent study  you definitely want room for at least one more…but make it someone you’ve already seen a CDSA for  👀

We’ve all been taught ad nauseum that the establishment of intestinal gut microbiota starts at birth if the child is born through the birth canal and for those that took a different emergency exit route, via contact with surrounds in the days following. But what do we say about doing what we do, til we know better? This particular study by Odamaki et al. (2019), puts a very different spin on things regarding how we end up with the ‘gut’ we have today. Using the old tradition of Japanese families sharing bathwater to answer a very modern question: is it a possible medium for the exchange of strains of Bifidobacterium longum? 

It turns out that the number of gut microbes shared by family members of the group who bathed together was higher than that in the ‘solo-submergers’ group, reinforcing the likelihood that shared bathwater is an effective vehicle  for microbial exchange of bifidobacterial strains.

So maybe in the future, our probiotic treatments might look a lot more holistic… a new addition to our oft-repeated list of favourites: whole food diets, fibre diversity, all the polyphenols of the rainbow etc. They might just include sharing baths with some healthy family and friends rather than swallowing yet another little pill – I am certainly open to that.  Come on over but just fax me your CDSA well in advance;)

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

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