Healthy Microbiome Tip #: Embrace Fiber
Your microbiomes bacteria love them some fiber. Its a favorite nutrient, and they feed on it to keep waste flowing smoothly out your body.
Adults are advised to eat between 2535 grams of fiber a day, with the easiest doses coming in complex carbs, legumes, and green vegetables. Sprinkle some beans on your next salad, add lentils to a soup, snack on popcorn, and include cruciferous veggies as sides to at least one meal a day. Your gut will thank you later.
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Key Issues With Stool And Microbiome Analysis:
1. Diagnostic Value
3. The diverse and ecological nature of the microbiome person-to-person1.) Diagnostic UtilityStool testing is less equipped to identify infection, leaky gut, or small intestinal bowel overgrowth.What it can be good at is looking at general vulnerabilities to these imbalances and the functional health of the gut.We can now accurately measure the presence and relative ratios of microbes in the gut. We can measure the diversity of the microbiome, its stability, and how it compares to whats considered healthy in the first place. Microbiome science has evolved to have identified key groups of bacteria that we know to be present most commonly in healthy guts. We also know the big players when it comes to potential for problems when they’re overgrown.In addition, our knowledge of the microbiome can give us a sense of strengths and weaknesses in our personal metabolism. We can gain important insights such as how sensitive your system might be to a high protein diet, or how sensitive it may be to high-sulfur foods that are otherwise considered healthy.Microbiome analysis gives us a holistic “check-in” on:
1.) The overall and functional health of the gut microbiome
2.) Its vulnerability to future problems
3.) A template for improvement when dysfunction is present
Gut Metatranscriptome & Microbiome Analysis
Im super excited about a new kind of testing that allows us to have a deeper picture of what is happening inside the gut. Weve all heard the studies about the importance of the gut and how it impacts every single aspect of our lives, and now we can actually get a glimpse of what is happening inside the gut and know how to impact our own gut environment.
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What Does A Dna Gut Health Test Do
A DNA gut health test allows you to see both the types and number of all the bacteria in a stool sample.
All bacteria have the 16s rRNA gene, and the gene remains detectable whether the bacteria are dead or alive5. By using 16s rRNA sequencing, you can see which species and strains of bacteria youre carrying, and in what ratios.
This method is quicker than culturing, and it gives a broader overview than qPCRwhich means its currently the best method available for looking at all bacteria in a stool sample.
But a stool carries more than bacteria. It may also have yeasts, digestive residues and perhaps even parasites. Thats why Healthpaths Essential Gut Health Test uses a combination of 16s rRNA sequencing, qPCR and culturing to identify all types of microbes in your gut. We also use immunochemical assays and near-infrared spectroscopy to assess how well your digestion is working.
Interesting Facts About Your Gut Microbiome
If you are still wondering whether you should test your gut microbiome, here are ten interesting facts about it. These may convince you of the importance of microbiome testing, bearing in mind that the sophisticated technology and science behind the testing and takeaways will continue to develop.
Your gut microbiome alone encompasses roughly 100 trillion microorganisms. The full microbiome is populated with trillions more, which kind of makes you think of your body differently, doesnt it?
Your gut microbiome is considered by many scientists to be an additional organ in your body thats how big a role it plays in your overall health. Encompassing all of the microorganisms in your gut, this organ generally weighs about 4 pounds . We test other organs in order to safeguard our health why would we not test our microbiome?
Microbiome testing wasnt even possible 15 years ago. Thanks to next-generation sequencing and the rise of metagenomics, it is now possible.
Evidence suggests that our microbiome begins developing before we are even born.
Evidence also suggests that how we are delivered into the world affects our microbiome.
The average gut microbiome actually includes some pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli.
Diet and distancing from natural bacterial exposure in our environment can rob the American gut of beneficial diversity in our microbiomes.
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Take A Prebiotic Or Probiotic
Adding a prebiotic or probiotic supplement to your diet may be a great way to improve your gut health. Prebiotics provide food meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria. People with bacterial overgrowth, such as SIBO, should not take probiotics. Not all probiotic supplements are high quality or will actually provide benefit. Its best to consult your healthcare provider when choosing a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to ensure the best health benefit.
Why Test For Gut Bacteria
Testing gut bacteria can be interesting for anyonebut its particularly helpful if you suffer from digestive issues or any of the other conditions listed above.
You have 100 trillion bacteria, yeasts, archaea and other microbes living in your gut. Together they weigh 2kg, which is roughly the same as your brain2.
These microbes and their genetic material are known as the gut microbiome. Funnily enough, theyve also been dubbed the second brainsimply because they play a role in so many bodily functions3. These include:
- Digesting your food
- Producing neurotransmitters
- Synthesising vitamins
This is what we know so far. The gut microbiome is a new area of research and its developing all the time. Although we dont yet have all the answers, we do know that healthier people tend to have richer and more diverse gut microbiomes4.
An easy way to understand this is to picture your gut microbiome as a meadow. The best meadows dont just have one type of living thingthey have trees, grass, flowers, bees, butterflies and animals. Your inner meadow is the same. For a strong ecosystem, it needs not only high numbers of individual microbes but also lots of different types. They work together and help to keep each other in balance.
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S To Taking A Microbiome Test
Testing your gut microbiome from the comfort of home can be done by following these four simple steps:
How to take a Microbiome Test:
Order one of the best at-home microbiome test kits.
Not all tests check for the same things, so pick one that matches your needs. All the tests we mention in this article can be ordered online and should arrive at your door in around five days.
Collect a sample to be tested.
Make sure to follow your test kit’s directions during this step. While most kits ask you to submit a stool sample, some, such as Ixcelas Internal Fitness Test Kit, analyze your blood.
Submit your sample and wait for it to be tested.
It will generally take around a month for your sample to be analyzed, but this can vary depending on the company and testing methods used.
Wait two to four weeks
And receive your results.
How Microbiome Testing & Stool Tests Can Assess Gut Health
Want to improve your childs allergies by working on their gut health?
Learn how to do just that with our
Gut health is a hot topic right now. But how can you assess the health of the gut? The two most common types of testing are CDSA, or stool testing, and microbiome testing.
Each form of testing has its own benefits and uses. So lets take a closer look at how they work and which might be for you and your child.
Watch the video below or keep reading to learn more about stool and microbiome testing.
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Consultation Service For Your Gut Microbiome Test
We offer the option to request a consultation with the laboratory specialists to discuss the results of your gut microbiome test. Please note that this service does not apply to tests purchased by another company. The consultation can be held via Skype, Zoom or other similar platforms which can be agreed to in advance. You can opt for a 30 minute consultation session for the price of CAD 140 or up to an hour session for the price of CAD 195. Once a request is made for the service an appropriate booking time for both parties will be reached depending on the location and time zones. Make the best out of your test results and book an appointment with a specialist
Viome: Gut Testing In Your Own Bathroom
That is until a company changed all that. Viome uses an advanced form of testing to analyze gut health and provide personalized recommendations of supplements, diet, and lifestyle factors.
Viome does a specialized form of testing called metatranscriptome sequencing. It looks at the RNA, metabolites, and the deeper picture of the gut.
Heres how Viome is better than the old 16S method:
- identifies all bacteria and all other living organisms in your gut
- pinpoints down to the species and strain level
- measures biochemical/microbe activities
- less variation in results
- identifies missing metabolites
Basically Viome gives a much more complete and precise picture you can actually act on with dietary and lifestyle changes.
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Microba Insight Sampling Kit
In 2018, Microba was the first company to offer DTC metagenomic testing in Australia and claims to have “the most comprehensive microbiome test available”.
The company was founded by University of Queensland researchers Professor Philip Hugenholtz and Professor Gene Tyson, and boasts having Professor Ian Frazer as a director, co-inventor of the technology enabling HPV vaccines.
How it works
My Microba Insight Sampling Kit came swiftly via post, and contained a sterile swab for faecal collection, simple instructions and a return prepaid satchel. Only a small faecal sample was required and collection was quick and easy to complete in fact, the accompanying online questionnaire about diet, lifestyle and background was far more time consuming.
Three weeks later, the results were ready. It presented a comprehensive list of the bacterial species in my gut microbiome, detailing the functions they perform and making suggestions on how they can contribute to my health and beneficial changes to my specific diet.
The sheer amount of information provided … made it relatively difficult to get an overall understanding of what my test results actually mean
There’s just so much complex scientific information on this report, and Microba’s challenge is to ensure the report is easy to understand.
What the Microbiome Coach said
Thankfully, the cost of the test also includes a 10-minute phone consultation with a “Microbiome Coach” to help people better understand their results.
What Will A Gut Bacteria Test Kit Show
While there are a number of gut bacteria testing kits on the market today, not all can show the same breadth of information as Viome. Viomes gut bacteria test kit is extremely comprehensive and shows you vital information to improve your well-being. It can pinpoint the precise and accurate levels of different types of microbes in your gut. Armed with this vital information, its then possible to see which microbes you must increase or reduce. You can achieve this by eating the right foods and by eliminating others that have proved to be harmful.
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While The Research Continues To Develop And Change So Does Your Gut Microbiome
Like all ecosystems, your microbiome is in a constant state of change. However, once you have a snapshot of your baseline, you can make evidence-based decisions to maintain or promote a positive balance over time.
Your microbiome can be influenced by numerous factors. The most influential factor is what you eat, however other lifestyle factors such as stress, medications, exercise, age, sleep and your environment can also influence your gut microbiome. This means that changes to any of these circumstances may shift your gut microbiome.
In general, studies have observed that people maintain a set of core species29, but the abundance of those species will shift with changes to the listed lifestyle factors30,31. With gut microbiome testing, you can closely monitor the impact of any changes you may make to your lifestyle.
When you understand your microbial community, you can:
Take positive steps to reinforce existing, positive bacteriaWith the information in a gut microbiome report, you can make informed decisions to promote a positive microbial balance in your gut. For example, if your gut microbiome shows a decreased potential to produce beneficial short chain fatty acids, however you have several beneficial species that produce short chain fatty acids at low abundance, you can take steps to change your diet or other lifestyle factors to promote the growth of those beneficial species.
Best For Putting Testing Insights To Use: Viome
In past years, we recommended BIOHM and Thryve for post-testing fungal and bacterial support, respectively, since they offered convenient, quality supplements that would address your gut microbiomes specific needs after testing was complete. But one of Viomes most recently introduced services is an optional prebiotic and probiotic subscription program after analysis of your test results. Because Viome tests most comprehensively and focuses on the more useful data from your fecal sample , the company now claims our top spot in this area. Viomes monthly supplements are formulated specifically for you based on the needs identified during your testing.
Depending on which tier of service you choose, Viome will even include periodic re-testing so that your monthly supplies of prebiotics and probiotics remain as useful to you as possible. Why is this important? Its because our bodies are an evolving ecosystem, with life events that can disrupt our healthy gut microbiome as well as natural aging processes that alter our biological needs over time. Probiotics and prebiotics shouldnt remain rigidly fixed over time because our bodies dont do that, either.
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Things You Should Know About Microbiome
- On and inside the body
- Together, can weigh up to ~2 KG of the body weight
- > 95% of this resides in the gut or the GI tract
- With most dense abundance on the large intestine
- Defined by 4 major groups of microorganisms – Bacteria, Archaea, Virus and Eukaryota
- Bacteria is the most abundant group within the gut
- > 10,000 species have been identified till date
- Individual can have anywhere between 1000-2500 species
Microbiome and Diseases
- Most of the microbes are benevolent or even beneficial
- < 5% of all microbes in gut can cause disease but has been associated with > 90% of human diseases
- Low or loss of microbial diversity is the most common reason of intestinal dysbiosis
The key areas that our microbiome impacts are –
- Obesity & Weight Loss
- Sports Performance
- Mental Health
- Metabolic Disease
- Auto-immune Conditions
A New Type Of Lab Test Showing Up In My Office
Recently, patients have been arriving at my office with thick reports of a new type of lab test: clinical microbiome tests. These are stool tests ordered by a doctor and sent off to private labs, which then sequence DNA in your poop in order to identify and report on which organisms inhabit your colon. The ecosystem of microorganisms that inhabit your digestive tract is collectively called the gut microbiota, and their genes are referred to as the gut microbiome.
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How Can You Interpret Microbiome Testing
As this is a new technology and new research comes out every day, microbiome testing can be difficult to interpret yourself. Thats why its important to work with a practitioner who stays up to date with the latest information.
Testing is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to your health. You want to have a practitioner who listens to your story, takes a thorough case study, and then uses that information in conjunction with test results for personalised advice.
What Causes Poor Gut Health
Your gut microbiome is highly sensitive. It is a living community of bacteria that is constantly changing. Important factors like diet, lifestyle, and stress levels play a major role in the state of your gut and your gut health. There are also many factors that can worsen your gut health, and its important to be aware of them.
Some of the biggest causes of poor gut health include:
- Candida overgrowth
You may have noticed that a lot of the causes of poor gut health are things that the majority of people do or experience every day. Cigarettes and alcohol are common substances used recreationally, antibiotics are commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals, processed foods are eaten in abundance, stress and poor sleep quality are regular occurrences for many, and a lack of physical exercise is certainly common.
Along with this trend in lifestyle and dietary habits, there is a dramatic increase in various digestive disorders in the United States and other western countries. Diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome , Leaky Gut, Crohns, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth , Candidiasis, and others are on the rise.
It is so important that we take good care of our gut healthespecially if you follow or have followed any of the things in the list above.
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Lower Your Stress Levels
Chronic high levels of stress are hard on your whole body, including your gut. Some ways to lower stress may include meditation, walking, getting a massage, spending time with friends or family, diffusing essential oils, decreasing caffeine intake, laughing, yoga, or having a pet. Here are 10 ways to reduce feeling stressed.