Poo IQ

Want to know how smart your baby will be? Check her diaper!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science…and baby poop.

Fun fact: your poop is loaded with bacteria. These bacteria come from your gut where trillions of them live. They help us digest food, protect against food poisoning, and can even affect our mood! But they can’t control our intelligence… Or can they?

Rebecca Knickmeyer and her team at UNC Chapel Hill pondered this poo-plexing question. They collected poop from one year-old babies, then counted and identified the bacteria. Next, the researchers gave each baby an intelligence test. They were tested again a year later.

And? Surprisingly, babies with certain gut bacteria in their Number Two had higher IQ’s! That suggests that this particular bacteria may help develop a baby’s brain! Exactly how does this work though?

Knickmeyer believes that the bacteria release beneficial hormones, or perhaps extract essential brain-building nutrients from food.

Your baby’s diaper might hold yesterday’s meal, AND tomorrow’s brain-building bacteria! It’s a slightly stinky Baby Einstein.