What is the best lab for gut microbiome testing?

EddieB

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I recently did a GI MAP through Diagnostic Solutions. I don’t have the results yet, so I can’t comment.
But I have since heard about this one, the Biomefx testing...
https://sibosos.com/stool-test-discussion-with-kiran-krishnan/

There is a claim that the Biomefx is more reliable, FDA approved testing. I may have gone with it had I known sooner.

To me, Viome is a waste of time. Didn’t really tell me anything useful. Same with Everlywell food sensitivities test. My doctor at the time recommended both, but I can’t.
 

EddieB

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Hi @EddieB ....

Good to bump into you :hug::hug:, and thank you for that input ..... very thoughty ....
And howdy back at ya...

These tests are a bit tricky.
First off, the testing labs don’t interpret what the results mean. So one really needs a practitioner, or someone with a knowledge of, to tell us what’s up.

Second, there’s a LOT of question about the accuracy of these tests. Each lab claims to be the “only one” of everything. I’ve posted this elsewhere here, but I’ve even found studies discrediting one lab’s process, funded by a competitor lab. So while I hope the results can be trusted, I just don’t know.

I chose the GI map test since it seemed to be used regularly by a number of functional medical doctors. We’ll see what happens.
 

junkcrap50

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I was pretty impressed with Microba's test result report. But I don't know anything about the company or if the results it reports are reliable. It measures the metabolites your gut microbiome makes, which I thought was very cool. Here's a sample report: https://lastplace.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Report-BBG8259-15Apr2021.pdf

Stumbled upon this blog post which looked at several microbiome testing companies:
https://microbiomeprescription.word...tion-of-microbiome-16s-and-shotgun-providers/
 

Learner1

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I was pretty impressed with Microba's test result report. But I don't know anything about the company or if the results it reports are reliable. It measures the metabolites your gut microbiome makes, which I thought was very cool. Here's a sample report: https://lastplace.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Report-BBG8259-15Apr2021.pdf

Stumbled upon this blog post which looked at several microbiome testing companies:
https://microbiomeprescription.word...tion-of-microbiome-16s-and-shotgun-providers/
Viome does a similar analysis of what your microbiome constituents can do, and it provides recommendations of supplements and dietary changes to modify the composition of one's microbiome. I've done it twice and found it quite helpful.

I look through the sample report for the Microba test And I see it does a nice job of saying what your microbiome constituents can do, As well as helpfully giving percentages of how many of what or found in your sample, but I don't see anything in the report, maybe I missed it, that tells you what to do about it. And the devil's in the details on that one.

Ive done GI Effects, GI Map and CDSA, I might each have their pluses and minuses, just as Microba and Viome do. I think They are helpful if you want to know if you have anti-gliadin antibodies, malabsorption of fat, or parasites or fungi, and they're pretty good with point solutions to address the bad things it finds, but I don't find them very good at suggesting what to do to improve the overall composition of the microbiome like Viome did.

Viome suggested lactobacillus plantarum, which I had not heard of before, which got rid of my gas within a week. Another time it suggested Iberogast, a herbal preparation from Germany, again which vastly improved my gas and bloating symptoms pretty quickly. It gave suggestions of certain products each time, but invariably I had allergies to some ingredient in them, but I was pretty easily able to find other versions with the same ingredients that I wasn't allergic to, and I was able to take them.

Your last find leads you to cfsremission.com and related sites. The guy behind it's premise that all ME/CFS can be cured by fixing the microbiome is a little less than honest, and he knows it, and his algorithm suggested that I eat Roundup and high maize starch when I'm allergic to corn, So I found it utterly useless, and I really didn't find knowing every single species that I had living inside me to be useful either. It totally missed my oxalate problem which Viome and Microba would flag.

The goal is to improve one's microbiome to function better and improve one's health. None of these tests are perfect, And it seems to me that once you Get rid of any parasites or fungi and biofilms, the game is to improve microbiome composition, which is best done by manipulating foods, and avoiding drugs and toxins that kill off various species. And, since none of the tests provide adequate information to solve all of your problems, it makes sense to do different tests over time, with a hope of having a better overall outcome. But, nobody knows what a perfect microbiome composition is, so it's all guessing at this point.

@junkcrap50 do you know if Microba can be ordered from the US, if it needs a doctor to order it, and the cost?
 

tyson oberle

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I got my results back. Still reviewing but seems pretty informative.

What helped a lot, I ordered it through a practitioner that reviewed and interpreted the results. Hopefully, you’ll know what to look for or have someone who does.
I wasn't clear with my post. I ordered the BiomeFX test.
 

EddieB

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I wasn't clear with my post. I ordered the BiomeFX test.
That’s great. From that link I posted, it sounded informative. Maybe we can do some comparisons and note differences in what’s tested.

The only other thing I can think of, would be to do two or more tests with different labs, then compare the results. One would think, if a person tested high for a particular bacteria with one lab, it would also show up on another.

But if they aren’t consistent with results, which one do you believe? And this could get expensive.
 
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tyson oberle

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That’s great. From that link I posted, it sounded informative. Maybe we can do some comparisons and note differences in what’s tested.

The only other thing I can think of, would be to do two or more tests with different labs, then compare the results. One would think, if a person tested high for a particular bacteria with one lab, it would also show up on another.

But if they aren’t consistent with results, which one do you believe? And this could get expensive.
@junkcrap50 @Learner1 I also ordered the Viome test the same day. Maybe the Microba test is better? With the thousands of different bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc maybe we just don't know enough yet and no test is useful yet? I wish I knew what to do
 
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Learner1

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@junkcrap50 @Learner1 I also ordered the Viome test the same day. Maybe the Microba test is better? With the thousands of different bacteria, viruses, etc maybe no test is useful yet? I wish I knew what to do
I think all the tests have their pros and cons. Viome won't tell you if you are celiac, It won't catch parasites, but I find the actionable information, of dietary modifications and supplements (pre and probiotics and herbals) to be extremely useful. I'm tired of looking at lists of bacteria and not knowing what to do, and I've taken thousands of dollars of high quality, high potency probiotics, which worked to a point, but I couldn't make any further progress, and the other tests weren't giving me anything useful that I could change to improve things.

The advice from the Viome tests I did were different, but they made sense, given results I had from other tests, what I knew about my situation, my food allergies, etc. It showed what was working well, and where my problem areas were. My only issue with it was that though they flagged oxalates as a problem, They didn't suggest removing high oxalate foods from my diet, but I was able to take their list which made sense otherwise and cross the high oxalate foods off.

I don't know if the other test is available in the US. I had heard about it from an Australian, but one can't always do the tests one wants across international borders, It just depends on what the company has done to allow that to happen. And sending poop across borders in a COVID world might be seen as risky.

Good luck with your findings, and I sincerely hope you find it helpful!
 

Learner1

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I’m glad you found Viome helpful, but I either missed something or just didn’t fit their test parameters.
Telling me my “Gut Microbiome Health” is “average”, doesn’t give me much to go on.
There are 2 reports. One gives you a rundown of the various things your gut can do, and I highly doubt that every single parameter was average. Generally something's high or low.

The second report was the useful one. That had suggestions for foods to avoid, foods to focus on and eat more of, and pre and probiotics and herbals to manipulate the microbiome and reduce troublemakers, and increase helpful gut constituents.

On the other hand, maybe your gut wasn't your problem. Or you just have mast cell activation or food allergies causing your problem. We're all different and there's no guarantee. That's why we need several data points, and I don't depend on just one test, like I said, I've used four different microbiome tests so far, and they've all had their pros and cons.
 

junkcrap50

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Viome does a similar analysis of what your microbiome constituents can do, and it provides recommendations of supplements and dietary changes to modify the composition of one's microbiome. I've done it twice and found it quite helpful.
Wow. That's pretty cutting edge. I've heard of Viome, but didn't know they could do that.

As well as helpfully giving percentages of how many of what or found in your sample, but I don't see anything in the report, maybe I missed it, that tells you what to do about it. And the devil's in the details on that one.
I didn't know tailored recommendations were possible. That there's enough reasoning and logic behind recommending one prebiotic vs another and/or for a specific bacteria. I find it hard to believe that the science knows enough on individual species, probiotics, and the microbiome in general to offer specific recommendations. Smells like it could easily be bs claims for marketing purposes that hides behind "propietary algorithms" and "properiety research". But who knows. Glad that it immediately helped you. I might have a sibiling might order it then to help his/her gut microbiome.

Ive done GI Effects, GI Map and CDSA, I might each have their pluses and minuses, just as Microba and Viome do. I think They are helpful if you want to know if you have anti-gliadin antibodies, malabsorption of fat, or parasites or fungi, and they're pretty good with point solutions to address the bad things it finds, but I don't find them very good at suggesting what to do to improve the overall composition of the microbiome like Viome did.
Yeah. These are two different tests for two different reasons: stool test for pathologies, infections, general GI stuff And microbiome test for disbiosis and gut metabolites.

@junkcrap50 do you know if Microba can be ordered from the US, if it needs a doctor to order it, and the cost?
@junkcrap50 @Learner1 I also ordered the Viome test the same day. Maybe the Microba test is better? With the thousands of different bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc maybe we just don't know enough yet and no test is useful yet? I wish I knew what to do
I was just throwing Microba out there as something to look up. I don't know anything about them or if they've even good. I was just impressed they measured metabolites produced by one's microbiome. I haven't investigated or kept up with microbiome research and testing since fixing my gut to an acceptable degree back in 2014/2015. So I thought it was pretty cool the tech's able to do it now (assuming it's accurate).
 

EddieB

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Generally something's high or low.
The majority were listed as good to average. Methane, putresine, and uric acid were “not optimal”.

The second report was the useful one
I was already eating the foods they recommended. Lactobacillus plantarum was the only supplement suggested.

We're all different and there's no guarantee. That's why we need several data points
Agreed. As I had stated earlier, I’m glad it helped you, but this particular one was of little use to me. The GI map did identify several overgrowths, which is much more useful information.

I also did the Everlywell food sensitivities test. No significant food sensitivities, if I can believe the test to be accurate.