Taking Action Instead Of Taking A Test
If gut tests arent accurate, whats the answer?
The answer is to focus on what helps;your microbiome be healthy and vibrant, not whether it might be sick.
1. Get Your Gut Moving!
Your GI tract is the primary way your body gets rid of metabolic wastes and dangerous chemicals. If you are constipated, you are essentially poisoning yourself, and your microbiome. Studies show that being constipated changes what microbes are dominant in your gut. The ones associated with pathogenic diseases take over your GI tract. Get this drainage pathway moving regularly — at least two times a day. This will tip the microbes in your favor!
2. Make Sure Your Liver Bile Duct Is Open
One of the jobs a healthy microbiome loves is to take your bile salts and turn them into TUDCA. TUDCA has impressive health benefits for you and your microbiome. If you starve them of bile acids because your liver bile duct is blocked, they cant produce it. A lack of TUDCA changes the microbiome and can activate other diseases.
The liver bile duct is another drainage pathway you need to keep flowing for a healthy microbiome. Taking TUDCA itself can actually get this duct unclogged helping you and your microbiome. There are herb combinations that also support better liver function. Coffee enemas open up the liver bile duct and purge toxins that are hampering your and your microbes. It will also give them the bile salts they are craving.
A healthy, open liver bile duct will dramatically change your microbiome!
What Is Microbiome Testing
Microbiome testing offers you a way to build a profile of the bacteria that live in your GIT .; This profile will give you a detailed breakdown of what kind of bacteria live throughout your tract as well as what ratios these bacteria can be found in.
This kind of testing can help us pinpoint if we have something called dysbiosis than beneficial ones.;
Microbiome testing usually involves using a home testing kit to collect a fecal sample and then send this sample off to a laboratory for testing.
The lab then sequences the DNA from the bacteria that are found in your sample. This sequencing helps the technicians to build your unique microbiome profile .;
Before we go into the two most commonly used microbiome sequencing methods, lets understand some terminology associated with naming and classification of the different groups of bacteria that live inside of you .
The different levels include:
- Genus Canis
- Species Familiaris
Interestingly, all domesticated dogs fall into this same species, but other members of this family include the fox and the coyote .;
Scientists have applied this same principle to all the bacteria that live in your GIT and then have gone a step further than species to give us different strains .; Imagine that is like telling the difference between a great dane and a chihuahua.;
At the moment, there are two reliable methods to sequencing your microbiome:;
- 16S rRNA technology;;
- Metagenomic sequencing;;
When To Skip Gut Microbiome Testing
We do these tests on people whose primary ailment is digestive, says Dr. McConnell. But according to her, one exception is when she suspects SIBO, which stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. If its limited to upper GI symptoms I may forego doing a stool test and instead do a SIBO breath test, she continues. A SIBO breath tests for specific gases emitted by bacteria in the supper GI tract that cant be measured in a stool test.;
Other patients that should hit the pause button on this type of test are those with a poor diet. If youre eating processed and inflammatory foods on a regular basis, I wont always offer this test as a first pass, says Dr. McConnell. Instead, I go for food first, she continues. If theres a lot of room for improvement in your diet, simple changes can often resolve the GI issues without the need for advanced testing.;
So, how often should you get a gut microbiome test? These tests arent cheap and theyre not something you need to do over and over again. In fact, we typically do the test once, treat, see improvement, and then there isnt a need to do it again for quite some time, says Dr. McConnell.
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How Does The Zoe Test Kit Work
Our relationship to dieting is quite complex. While most of us have a general understanding of the food pyramid, theres a good chance that discussions of microbial health are often shoved aside.;
Instead, we tinker with rejecting or accepting carbs, proteins, and products that are high in vitamins and minerals. ZOE helps you re-evaluatethe core of your eating habits in order to lead a more fruitful life.;;
ZOE offers an at-home test, which analyzes your gut microbiome, blood sugar levels, and percentage of body fat. How do they do this? By utilizing the power of muffins, of course!
Carefully formulated to integrate the right amount of carbs, proteins, calories, and oils, the brand will send you a batch of their baked goods in the name of science.;
Hype aside, their recipe calls for plain vanilla. As a side note, users are advised not to throw in extra toppings like blueberries and nuts into the mixas it will blur their overall findings.;
Afterward, subscribers are instructed to use a continuous glucose monitor , which pricks your skin to get a blood sample.
Dont worry, its entirely painless and only lasts for a few seconds. It monitors your sugar levels for a total of 14 days to get a better understanding of how your system handles carb intakes.
It will also disclose dietary sensitivity levels as well as scores for meals for those muffins you ate. Lastly, it will compare your findings with others within the ZOE database.
Can Microbiome Testing Help Your Health
As a huge proponent of gut health, I wish I could suggest microbiome tests were a breakthrough in gut diagnoses and treatment.;
Unfortunately, current microbiome testing cannot provide medical diagnoses.; It cannot even necessarily tell you that having a specific type of bacteria in your intestine is definitely good or bad for you, as an individual.
And, at the moment, they cant even help you choose a personalized gut-healthy diet. We simply dont know enough yet about the relationships between diet, microbiome, and specific diseases.
All that being said, we do know that the diversity of your gut bacteria is important.; An abundance or overgrowth of any one particular bacteria is almost certainly bad for your gut health.;
Since these tests can tell you if you have a really high number of a particular type of bacteria, they can help tip you off if you are at high risk for poor gut health.; This may even be the case if you dont have any worrisome digestive issues yet.;
And keep in mind that these tests are ever-evolving.; The more people get their microbiome tested, the stronger the data is linking certain bacteria to certain conditions.; As the research comes in, gut microbiome testing companies update their reports and what their results mean.;
This means that even if you do a microbiome test now and it doesnt tell you anything useful, it may be updated with helpful information in the future.; ;
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How Does Viome Work
While distinguishing the microorganisms in your gut is essential, you can pick up the most knowledge into your gut when you can likewise comprehend the capacity of those microorganisms . This is on the grounds that the microorganisms in your gut produce a huge number of synthetics, that influence your general health. As I mentioned earlier in this Viome review, A portion of these microbial metabolites can be valuable to your wellbeing, for example, B nutrients and short chain unsaturated fats, while others can be negative, for example, Trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO, which causes coronary conduit malady.
The ongoing examination carried out for this Viome review, has exhibited the microbiomes noteworthy job in human wellbeing and illness, including:
Whats more, every individual is biochemically one of a kind. Subsequently, you process macronutrients uniquely in contrast to others do. Along these lines, as a major aspect of the crap test units that they send you via the post office, in some of the other Viome reviews we came to find out that, Viome additionally sends you an exceptional healthful test shake to drink, trailed by a progression of estimations that you take which break down your bodys reaction to decide how rapidly you recover your parity and how you process diverse macronutrients.
This at that point enables you to do things like:
Heres What You Can Discover From Your First Microbiome Test Results
|Tailored food recommendations|
A healthy gut microbiome has a broad range of different microbes. Different bacteria perform different jobs and work together to maintain stability in the community, deter pathogens, train the immune system, and produce beneficial substances.
Some transform prebiotic fibers directly into important compounds like butyrate that nourish the gut directly. Others produce substances that feed other good bacteria. Its also not uncommon for bacteria to accomplish several different tasks at once.
We use the Chao index to evaluate the diversity of bacteria in your gut with a simple traffic light rating . Your results also show where you stand compared to our other users.
Butyrate is an essential short-chain fatty acid that is produced by your gut microbes, especially by those of the Firmicutes phylum .
This substance is a vital source of fuel for colonocytes, the cells of your gut lining, and it helps maintain the integrity of the gut barrier. Butyrate can also prevent inflammation, modulate the immune system, and even suppress some types of cancerous activity.
Our test identifies the butyrate-producing bacteria in your gut and uses this information to estimate the butyrate production levels of your microbiome.
Your results assess your microbiomes potential to make vitamins based on the specific types of bacteria in your sample and their abundance in the ecosystem.
Probiotics in your gut
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How Do You Get Your Microbiome Tested
Currently, most tests are available commercially through an online lab or stockist.; You can simply order them and have them delivered to your house.
There were tests available via medical professionals that were partially covered by insurance.; Unfortunately, these have been withdrawn pending an insurance fraud investigation.
Cause And Effect Relationships
We know that some bacteria can be harmful to your health.; We also know that a lack of diversity that is the variety of bacterial species you have in your gut can have negative health consequences, as well.
But we dont yet know how all the different bacteria work together.; This means that it may not be as simple as good bacteria and bad bacteria.; Whether your gut helps keep you healthy or is making you sick might have more to do with the relationships between bacterial types.;
In addition, most studies have worked with correlation, not causation.; This means that studies have found that people with x symptoms tend to have x gut bacteria.; But that doesnt necessarily mean that x gut bacteria caused symptom x. Those types of bacteria might simply grow better when you have condition x, for example.;
Combined, these issues make it difficult to know exactly what microbiome testing results actually mean for your gut health.
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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.;
Improve Metabolism With Nutty Treats
Nuts are undoubtedly natures energy treats. Though they are high in fats, they also contain numerous nutrients and are incredibly healthy. For example, they are full of elementary nutrients such as magnesium, vItamin E, fiber, and many more. The fatty acids present in various nuts such as almonds and walnuts, help speed up the metabolism. They are helpful in weight loss and are also good at fighting away type-2 diabetes. It is the high protein and fiber content, essentially, which provides you with a quick boost in energy while making you feel fuller for longer.
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An Abnormal Microbiome Is Associated With Certain Health Problems
Studies have shown that abnormal microbiomes can be associated with a number of diseases, including Crohns disease, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers. If someone has a chronic disease, for example, metabolic syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, or is obese, you could almost guarantee that their microbiota composition would be abnormal, Gail Hecht, M.D., professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and chair of the American Gastroenterological Association Center for Microbiome Research and Education, tells SELF.
An abnormal microbiome may show significantly less diversity of bacteria than the typical microbiome, or may show overgrowth of certain bacteria that have been linked to health conditions. But its important to note that most studies examining links between disease and the gut microbiome have been association studies, where causation couldnt be determined. In other words, it is unclear whether having an abnormal microbiome is a cause of disease, or if various disease conditions instead lead to an abnormal microbiomewe cant be sure whether an abnormal microbiome is a cause of disease, or just a symptom.
The Microbiome Isnt Fixed
Not only are researchers not sure which microbes each of us need, but the microbiome is also forever changing. Even within the same day!
Some things that influence the changing of your microbiome are:
Where you are in the world
Stress- What you encounter in your day and how you perceive it can even change your microbiome. Scientist discovered that immediately after stress, your levels of good bugs go down. This lets the bad bugs go up in number, specifically one associated with loose stools.
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Why You Should Trust Us
Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles. Our testing team has purchased and compared over 500 health-related tests to date, and we are constantly updating our reviews based on the latest test advances.
This guide, like all health-related content on Innerbody Research, is thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each health testing service we review. We evaluate the entire experience from ordering to receiving results and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.
My Personal Experience And Final Take Away
Look, I get the appeal of these tests. Our bodies play host to tens of trillions of critters, and we have no idea who they are and what theyre actually doing in there. Its fascinating to get a glimpse into their identities for curiositys sake alone, and tempting to entertain the notion that we can somehow tame them to enlist their help in our quest for good health and longevity.
Driven by this curiosity, I actually participated in the American Gut project;about five years ago as a citizen scientist myself.;After keeping a food diary for myself and my family for a week, I mailed off our stool samples and soon after received colorful poster-sized printouts that described the predominant genera inhabiting each of our guts, with comparisons to the guts of other demographic groups.
I was fascinated to see how completely different the gut microbiotas of my then toddler-aged twins were despite sharing a womb, a bedroom and pacifiers, and despite following the same diet ; I was also super freaked out to learn that one of my kids harbored a predominant bacterial phylum called Proteobacteriaa grouping that includes a rogues gallery of nasty disease-causing critters. THIS is what I get for breastfeeding that kid for an entire year?!
Clinical microbiome tests provide a whole lot of interesting data. But they cant yet offer any conclusions at this time about what these data mean and what if anything we can or should do about that data.
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Should You Test Your Gut Microbiome
One of the great discoveries of modern medicine is that humans are inhabited by trillions of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. And not just in the gut, as once believed, but in tissues throughout the body. You are not one, but manyand in an optimal state of health, you coexist in harmony with your microbes.
Scientists are now engaged in the enormous endeavor of cataloging the microbial map of our mouth, skin, lungs, urogenital tract, blood, eyes, and of course, our gut. The initiative is called the Human Microbiome Project, and it relies on extraordinarily advanced sequencing tools. The great challenge: To discover what constitutes the normal microbiome of every tissue and organ, and better yet, to learn how to restore proper balance when those microbial communities are disrupted.
The largest and most complex microbiome is that of our GI tract, which is estimated to contain as many as 1,000 microbial cells in every gram of stool. Though we are in the early days of truly understanding the gut microbiome and its impact on health and illness, there are already numerous tests available to analyze your gut flora, as well as to look for markers of inflammation or poor digestion.
We took a look at the options, and spoke with Dr. Bill Rawls, author of the bestselling book Unlocking Lyme, to get a sense of whether theyre worth your time and investment.