The TUMS study is looking at domestic tap water treatment and the friendly bacteria that live in the gut (the microbiome).
Friendly gut bacteria perform essential duties related to digestion and play a vital role in our overall health. Children in particular need an optimal chance to develop a diverse range of healthy gut bacteria in the first few years of life. Tap water is treated with disinfectants to ensure it’s safe and free of harmful bacteria.
This study will help ensure that the way we treat tap water is also optimal for promoting a healthy tum.
TUMS will be recruiting babies (and their families) from six months of age. Participating families will receive a benchtop water filter fitted to the kitchen tap, which contains a carbon block that removes chlorine, heavy metals and pesticides for your tap water. It doesn’t remove fluoride which is important for dental health. Families will be asked to use the water filter to prepare any drinks for their baby wherever possible, for a total duration of 12 months. Stool samples will be collected at various stages over the year to analyse the baby’s gut bacteria in a laboratory. Water testing, DNA testing and online questionnaires will also be collected as part of the study.
Benefit to Families At the end of the trial, participating families receive a free personalised report on their child’s gut health which can be shared with their health practitioner to support their future gut health.
The TUMS study is now recruiting participants from the ORIGINS cohort.