The Gut Microbiome May Benefit Heart Health
Interestingly, the gut microbiome may even affect heart health .
A recent study in 1,500 people found that the gut microbiome played an important role in promoting good HDL cholesterol and triglycerides .
Certain unhealthy species in the gut microbiome may also contribute to heart disease by producing trimethylamine N-oxide .
TMAO is a chemical that contributes to blocked arteries, which may lead to heart attacks or stroke.
Certain bacteria within the microbiome convert choline and L-carnitine, both of which are nutrients found in red meat and other animal-based food sources, to TMAO, potentially increasing risk factors for heart disease .
However, other bacteria within the gut microbiome, particularly Lactobacilli, may help reduce cholesterol when taken as a probiotic .
Certain bacteria within the gut microbiome can produce chemicals that may block arteries and lead to heart disease. However, probiotics may help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
What These Tests Can Really Tell You
If youve considered spending $100-$400 on one of these tests , you should be aware what these tests can credibly tell you about your health and what claims made by marketers of these tests may be over-reaching.
# 1. There is no single reference range for what constitutes a healthy, normal gut microbiota.
Unlike blood tests that measure levels of electrolytes, blood cells, vitamins and minerals against a known normal and healthy reference range, no such standard of normal and healthy exists for the gut microbiota.
The diversity of our respective inner ecosystems is astounding as different from one another as the ecology of deciduous forests of Americas East Coast are to the tropical rainforests of Central America. Can one of these forests be said to be a healthier ecosystem than the other?
Of course not. Whether a given ecosystem is healthy depends on context. Using the example of the forests, a Central American tropical rainforest ecosystem may be very healthy if youre a red-eyed tree frog, but a health disaster if youre an Eastern gray squirrel that accidentally found itself delivered there one day.
The American Gut Project
This analogy applies to our inner gut ecosystems as well. I reached out to Daniel McDonald, PhD, Scientific Director of the American Gut Project;at the University of California San Diegos School of Medicine, to understand more about where the research stands on defining what is considered healthy in terms of a gut microbiota.
What Products Does Viome Offer And What Do They Test For
Viome offers two test kits:
- Gut Intelligence Test;
- Food Sensitivity Intelligence Test
The Gut Intelligence test looks at what bacteria is in your digestive system and what metabolites theyre producing.; From this, Viome provides you with a breakdown of the function these bacteria are playing in your health .
The Food Sensitivity kit examines your tolerance of 40 different foods and gives recommendations on foods to avoid.
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How Do You Know Whether Your Gut Biome Is Balanced Or Not
On the one hand, you can do what I did when my stomach was not doing well: see your primary care doctor, get a referral to a gastroenterologist, who will then send you home with a sample kit that you have to rush back to the hospital, wait a few weeks, then go see the doctor to get your results.
Thankfully, there are now at-home gut health tests that can help you measure whats going on in your gut. They can tell you a lot about your health and how to improve it. This article will compare three of these brands:; Viome vs Thryve vs Everlywell. Well let you know more about each one and help you decide which one you might like to try. Plus, well dig into the different diagnostics offered by Viome and Thryve and compare them to food sensitivity tests offered by companies like Everlywell
Viome Gut Intelligence Test The Worlds Most Advanced Gut Microbiome Test
To put it simply, the Viome Gut Intelligent Test isthe most advanced gut microbiome test in the world. It uses sophisticated metatranscriptomic sequencing technology developed at the Los Alomos National Laboratory for national security purposes to map the strains and species of bacteria, fungi, phages, yeast, parasites, and viruses that make up your unique gut microbiome. And the best part is you take the test from the comfort of your own home.
Once you place your order, Viome will send you an easy to use at-home kit to collect your sample. After you return your sample by mail, Viome analyzes it with the aforementioned microbe identification technology to determine how active the organisms in your gut are, and what specific nutrients and toxins they produce from the food you eat. Then they use an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm called Vie, which uses a massive database of information to create customized dietary recommendations based on your unique results.
These recommendations are designed to:
Increase microbial species associated with overall wellness Minimize microbial species associated with poor health Create the ideal ratio of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats for your diet Encourage foods that are most compatible with your metabolism Help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight Increase your energy, focus and well-being.
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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.
Is Zoe Worth It
For those in the midst of a diet slump, this ZOE symptom tracker review recommends that you give them a try.
Within our culture, were expected to cross our fingers and hope for the best when it comes to eating foods we consider nutritious. Eliminating or incorporating the right ones makes all the difference.;
Lets face it; all of us are in a blind spot. Unless youre a health expert, we have no way of knowing how our bodies react to certain types of food before it enters the system.
Fortunately, ZOE shines a light on our microbial health to paint a personalized, detailed picture of what meals we should be eating.;
While it may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, members have a chance to better their wellbeing, increase their energy, and possibly lose weight. In comparison, this seems miles ahead of unhelpful nutritional advice and costly dieting programs.;
If you find yourself frustrated with your relationship with dieting and meal planning, ZOEs experts can be your informative counselor. And hey, engaging in this entire process by trying out scientific muffins you cant beat that.;
The brand also has the ZOE COVID symptom checker for customers to download on Apple or GooglePlay. This program helps researchers get a better understanding of cases found in the United Kingdom by analyzing your information.
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Does Viome Really Work
There is some research suggesting microbiome tests could detect a persons risk of certain diseases. Studies also indicate microbiome tests could help optimize an individuals gut environment through dietary strategies, including supplementation of probiotics and prebiotics.
However, the studies supporting the efficacy of Viomes products may not be reliable. Additionally, the company makes health claims that scientific evidence may not back up.
What Do We Know About The Microbiome
Science has come a long way in learning about you, your microbiome and gut health. The problem is, the more we uncover, the more we find out we need still need to discover!
How Many Types Of Microbes Are There?
Right now researchers have identified about 10,000 species that can inhabit your GI tract. Every few years they discover and catalog about 1,500 more. Right now they estimate that eventually, they will find 20,000 to 40,000 in total. But the truth is, even the top scientists dont know for sure. Your microbiome is complex and dynamic. Its constantly changing.
Every time they discover new microbes questions emerge like:
- What does this microbe do?
- What genes does it affect?
- How does it interact with other microbes?
- Has it always been in the microbiome or is it new?
- Is it supposed to be there, or should we try and get rid of it?
The more researchers find, the more they have to unpack that information. They scramble to figure out what the new data means to you and your health.;;
How Many Microbes Do We Have?
Doctors used to think that the number of microbes vastly outnumbered your own cells. Now thats been revised. They presently state that the number is about the same. You have as many microbes as your own cells — yet they admit there is about a 25% variance amongst different people. Plus, your microbiome changes continuously. Even one bowel movement can significantly change that number!
Which Microbes Are The Good Ones?
How Much Does The Microbiome Change?
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What Are The Benefits Of Mb Subscription
Regular microbiome testing can benefit anyone who is seeking to improve their overall health, find practical strategies to enhance their diet, or indeed retrieve sustainable balance if theyve had health problems.
Healthy people can benefit from checking in from time to time with their gut microbes, and can even enhance their well-being and improve their scores on the parameters above by following the food recommendations.
High stress lifestyles can receive support from their gut microbes. A balanced microbiome can reduce inflammation , improve stress resilience, and even reduce anxiety. Sudden, acute episodes of stress can have an impact on your gut microbiome, but taking another microbiome test can help address unplanned disturbances by changing up your diet.
Adopting a healthier diet for digestive and/or general health, achieving a healthy BMI, or for self-esteem is another way in which monitoring your gut microbes help. Several types of bacteria are directly associated with weight gain prevention, but also digestive health. Our food recommendations change based on every fresh test to provide you with guidance on what to put on your plate.
Good Bacteria Vs Bad Bacteria
In the last month alone, patients have presented me with such reports from three different companies, ordered by either integrative doctors or naturopaths. On their websites, marketers of these tests promise to tell you whether you harbor good bacteria or bad bacteria, advise you of bacterial imbalances you may have, and offer actionable insights to modify your inner ecosystem toward improving your health.
Some recommend specific diets or foods to help rebalance your microbiota, while others warn you of specific disease risks based on the test results. All of them suggest the purchase of numerous, specific and dietary supplements, sometimes sold by the testing company themselves, other times not.
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Next Step: Restore Gut Balance
In summary, research suggests that gut microbial balance is key to hormonal balance.;The gut appears to play a major role in coordinating homeostasis or balance in the neuroendocrine and immune systems.
Since the gut microbiome is one of the most important organs involved in the effort to balance your hormones, it should be part of your future protocols. Why? Because the gut microbiome creates, breaks down, changes the expression of, and tells the body to make more or less hormones, and then how to use them. It works bidirectionally with another brain/body control system for your hormones, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-thyroid-gonadal axiswhich Ive written about extensively in all of my books, starting first with The Hormone Cure.
For more information on how to restore gut balance, tune into my future articles on best practices for testing the microbiome and its activity, plus the key role of diet, macronutrients, micronutrients, chronic stress, supplements, prebiotics, probiotics, and other solutions.
If youre a practitioner who wants to learn more about how to create sustained hormone balance in your patients with science-backed protocols that include the microbiome, register here.
Remember Your gut microbiome is one of the conductors of the complex hormonal orchestral playing throughout your body. Your gut microbiome regulates your hormones and for your hormones to be balanced, your gut microbiome should be balanced.
Stool Testing Purpose Procedure Duration And Results
A stool test gives a snapshot of whats going on in your gutkind of like taking a photograph.
The NHS uses stool tests in hospitals, but most stool tests are designed to be taken at home. Youll need to follow a few steps before taking the test to maximise its accuracy. These include:
· Following your normal diet for at least a week before taking the test.· Stopping probiotics three days before the test, as these can skew results.· Making sure you take the test on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, and planning to go to the Post Office on the same day .
Once youve prepared properly, theres no best time of day to take a stool testjust do it when you have the natural urge to do a poo!
The instructions will vary by test provider, but the process is usually straightforward. Heres how it works at Healthpath:
1) Make sure youve prepared properly by eating your normal diet and stopping any probiotics three days before taking the test.
2) Check you have the correct test kit and label the two test tubes with your name and the date.
3) If you need to urinate, do this first. Then attach the stool collector to the toilet basin. Pass stools as normal.
4) Put on the gloves. Unscrew the lid from one of the test tubes, and use the spoon to take samples from several different areas of the stool until the test tube is two-thirds full. Repeat this process with the second test tube.
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Can We Measure A Healthy Gut
If gut health is so complex, is it something we can really measure? There are some things that we can measure for.
When it comes to specific conditions such as Coeliac disease or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth , there are specific tests that can be used. These can prove that the condition does or does not exist in your body.
But when it comes to overall gut health, it can be a little trickier.
One area that is of particular interest at the moment is the microbiome. Microbiome actually refers to all of the microbes that reside in the body, including those found on the skin, in oral cavities and even in the vagina.
But the most populated area of the body is in the colon. This area of the microbiome is believed to have the most significant influence on health.
The gut microbiome can be made up of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and even parasites. Different microbes can have a different effect on your health. Some are beneficial, and some can make you sicker.
By testing the microbes in your gut, we can start to take a look at how healthy your gut might be, and steps to optimise your gut health.
This Factsheet Is About The Commercial Analysis Of Poo Samples Or Microbiome Testing
Research into the gut and the microbes living in your gut has now become big news. Scientists all over the world are analysing what kinds of microbes make the human gut their home and investigating how they affect our health both in the long term and short term. Scientists are also interested in how these microbes might influence a persons response to drugs prescribed by doctors, for example, drugs for the heart or to treat different cancers as well as antibiotics.
Some of the findings have moved from scientific publications to articles/books for the general public. As a result of this attention, several companies now offer to analyse a sample of your faeces , with the aim of telling you about the microbes in your gut, and how they might affect your health, either positively or negatively.
But what is really known about this approach? How useful are these tests? What can we learn from the test results? This leaflet will explain about the gut microbes, their links to health, disease and therapy, and what the test reports mean.
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Why Is The Biodiversity Of Bacteria Important
Biodiversity describes how many different types of bacteria exist in your gut flora. Simply put, the more types of bacteria, the better it is for your health. For instance, scientists believe that greater diversity helps prevent diseases and obesity.
With the diversity index given in the results report you will learn whether the bacterial species in your gut are fairly evenly distributed or if certain species of bacteria dominate;your bowel.
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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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