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Real Member Questions: Food Viruses, Egg Yolks, Retesting and More!

Real Member questions for 9/2

Welcome to Viome's Weekly Deep Dive! 

Every week, we dive deep into the questions and curiosities of our community, where people like you seek to understand the profound connections between your body, your nutrition, your microbiome, your health, and ultimately – your happiness.

Our mission at Viome is to empower each individual with knowledge, creating a world where illness is optional. In this spirit, we've selected four pressing questions from our members this week, answering them with detailed insights backed by the latest research.  

For those of you keen on learning more, we've also added a 'Deeper Dive' section at the end of each answer, directing you to further resources and studies to quench your thirst for knowledge. 

This Week's Featured Member Questions:

WEEK 36:


My serving limit for spices is 8. In my superfoods, I have the following spices: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, peppermint, spearmint, and turmeric. With them, I would add sumac for taste and garlic for health. That would make it nine, I also would have a serving of honey at a different time of day. Is it really bad for my microbiome to have 10 consisting of that? What if I also added rosemary, oregano, and sage? Is the limit for spices really that important compared to the others?


It's completely fine to have extra servings of herbs or spices from your Superfoods list. You want to nourish your body and microbes by eating as many Superfoods as you can and ensure you get a good variety of nutrients in by eating lots of foods from your Enjoy list as well.


Recent research from the American Gut Project found that the more diverse your diet, the better. The data suggested that you should consume at least 30 different plant-based foods on a weekly basis to support a diverse gut microbiome.1 Not only do we want a microbiome that has a large population of microbes, we want that population to be widely diverse. Lack of diversity means that certain functions that the gut usually carries out may not be efficient due to a lack of microbes such as digestion, nutrient absorption, immune system regulation.



Hi! There’s no mention of Candida in any of your test results on the gut microbiome. Do you guys test levels of it at all? I know we all have some levels of it, but what about overgrowth? What are your thoughts on this?


Hello. All the organisms that were found alive and active in your gut will be listed in your results. In regards to candida, an individual may have it in the upper digestive tract, but it is not abundant or active in the colon, where the sample is mostly collected (it may be absent at the time of your sample collection). If you are concerned about any overgrowth of this nature, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider for more in-depth clinical insight. 


Viome Intelligence Tests fall into the category of wellness tests. This is a category of tests that consumers are allowed to purchase freely, without a prescription from a doctor. On the most basic level, we analyze your microbiome from a stool and/or saliva sample. Many members are interested about the list of microbes that we find in their sample.

However, this list of microbes is only the smallest part of the information that we are able to see and analyze, and frankly, far less important. We look at a very specific function of your microbiome through your sample: RNA (or what is produced when a gene is expressed). While RNA is not something that you normally test for at your doctor's office (such as A1C, lipids, vitamin levels, etc.), it is something that gives us an amazing amount of information not only about your microbiome, but about key areas of health throughout your body and how well they are functioning. Want to learn more? Our special research article, written by our very own Founding CTO Guru Banavar, Founding CTO Momo Vuyisich, and Vishakh Gopu, MS, can give you the full story. 


I’m trusting my gut - ha ha - and feeling better with my supplements, so thinking 3 months might be good. When should I retest?


Great to hear! Three months is the earliest we recommend retesting…typically customers retest around the 4-6 month range (with 6 months being the most common). If you're feeling good, I might suggest continuing with your current recommendations for a bit longer before making any additional dietary changes but I also don't know how restrictive your recommendations are right now so you'll need to make the call on what you think is best for you at this time.


Using the 4-6 month time frame for retesting is a good rule of thumb. However, an even better gauge is how you feel. As our expert answered above, if you’re feeling good, it’s pretty certain you’re doing well with your food and Precision Supplement recommendations, and there’s probably no need to retest right at that moment. 

But is there a way to tune in to your body to know how you are doing if you are new to this? How do you know what your baseline is for health

This could be as simple as: 

  • How do you feel after eating a meal containing your Superfoods?

  • How are you sleeping?

  • How is your energy?

  • Are you feeling better than you were before you started implementing your recommendations?

You can keep it simple. And if you’re doing great, keep on that path. If things are not as shiny as they once were, it might be time to check in for a retest


My Minimize list includes egg whites and then egg yolk. Why are these separated? And would I be able to have a whole egg but just not the separated egg or does this mean I should minimize whole eggs since both yolk and white are listed?


The whites and yolks have different nutrients, which have different impacts on pathways and scores. If both are minimized you should avoid whole eggs. But remember this isn't a "forever" recommendation and you can still have 1-2 servings of minimize foods a week.


The nutritional profiles of egg yolks vs. egg whites are distinctly different, as our expert points out above. Chicken eggs are considered by some to be one of the healthiest animal-derived foods on the planet, with neither part being more or less healthier than the other (you can skip the egg white omlettes if you like from now on), they are simply different.

The biggest difference between the two: egg whites contain almost only protein (hello, bodybuilders) and no fat or cholesterol. Egg yolks contain almost all the nutrients: B2, B12, B5, A, Selenium, and small amounts of nearly every vitamin and mineral the body needs, including potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, E, folate, and more.2 

So, before believing the adage that only egg whites are healthy, or egg yolks are high in cholesterol and therefore bad for you, be sure you know where they fall on your foods list - you may find that they are an Enjoy, or even a Superfood, and you can take advantage of this nutrition powerhouse.  


I was advised not to eat tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers for a short time as I had a virus in my gut carried by these plants. Does this mean no canned or bottled products containing tomatoes? Is it just the raw form of these plants? And when preparing these plants to ingest, can you wash the virus off, or are they inside the product?


We recommend avoiding all forms of your Avoid foods, whether raw, cooked, or processed. With regard to plant viruses, there is some evidence that heating at around 200 degrees for at least five minutes denatures the virus. However, other plant viruses have been found in foods that have been dried and cooked, suggesting that cooking or washing does not always destroy plant viruses.


While plant viruses are not considered to be harmful to or known to “infect” humans, there is still a possible enhanced immune response associated with these plant viruses in the gut microbiome. 

Plant viruses are an agricultural issue, with an impact of more than 30 billion annually on the farming industry.3 The viruses usually spread via insects, fungi and nematodes who feed on the plant, and carry the disease to other plants. But it seems that humans are the key to spreading plant viruses widely, by distributing contaminated fruits, vegetables and grains all around the world, thus releasing the virus into newer areas to be contracted by uninfected crops.3 


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1 Neumann, K. (2018, July 8). Press Release, The American Microbiome Project. 

2 Gunnars, K. (2023, July 27). Nutrition, Healthline, online.

3 Ranawaka B, Hayashi S, Waterhouse PM, de Felippes FF. (2020). Viruses. 12(12):1462.