Gut Health: Bacteria / Microbiome Testing – uBiome
NOTE: uBiome, as great as this test was, is no longer. However I still find it one of the most useful tests in my clinic. There are various other companies that have picked up the task.⇓
I want to share one of the most useful and inexpensive tests that you can order yourself to improve your gut health. As many of you know, gut health is a major interest for me. This is not only because it is a major factor in a large percentage of diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, but because improving gut health leads to greater vitality and health.
In my clinic, I work to develop an individualized treatment approach for gut health. The uBiome test helps accomplish this.”
The uBiome test sequences (catalogs via DNA testing) the bacteria in your gut. This tells us how diverse your bacterial populations are and how strong your good and bad bacteria are. This is then compared to the population and you can get a general sense of how healthy a certain aspect is, and therefore where you want to put your energy for change. Just a reminder, having gut bacteria diversity with the right ratios of certain colonies can dramatically impact our health. For example, certain colonies will reduce inflammation or allow you to lose weight easier. Other specific strains ease anxiety and improve our immune system (see probiotic article for more details). The uBiome website has a nice easy graphic interface, allowing you to compare your results over time. Using multiple tests, you can see if your interventions have made a difference or not. For the more detailed oriented person, you can download the raw data and see the exact count of around 250 specific bacterias.
Many say that changing one’s bacterial colonies and numbers is difficult to do. There is truth to this, but utilizing this tool with an individualized treatment strategy, you can clearly change your gut for the better, leading you to greater vitality.
I would like to share my test results as evidence that bacteria colonies CAN change for the better. My first sample was in march, and second in October. I added specific foods, specific probiotics, and prebiotics to my normal diet. In summary, I went from a 96.1% wellness match to 99.1%. My diversity went from 61st to 93rd. Meaning I have more diverse bacteria than 93% of the population. My firmicutes and bacteroides ratios improved. My Akkermansia, a powerful anti-inflammatory bacteria, dramatically improved. See below screenshots for the details and example of the graphical interface that uBiome uses.
If interested in a microbiome test please contact the office. For other ideas on individualizing your gut health protocols, see my recent articles on choosing the right probiotic and importance of specific prebiotics.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email or post a comment below.
Do you work with patients who have gluten and soy intolerances? Does improving gut bacteria help with food intolerance? Are there helpful treatments in addition to avoiding offending foods?
I certainly do work with these cases! This is a very common situation and gets good results. In simple, yes, if you improve the gut function and bacteria then foods become less sensitive. -Jason
Does this approach present a lasting effect after treatment? Once probiotics are ceased, does the biome population deminish and return to pre-treatment levels? Or is the approach to stay on probiotics indefinitly?
What approach are you referring to? But the simple answer is you do the proper steps you can change the microbiome for the positive after stopping treatment. That means you do not need to be on probiotics indefinitely in the majority of cases. -Jason