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Real Member Questions: LPS Biosynthesis, Gut Lining Health, Avoid Food Substitutions and More!

Member QA Blog4

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 41:


What can I do to improve my LPS Biosynthesis Pathway score aside from following my recommendations?


Great question–LPS (lipopolysaccharides) is an endotoxin produced by gram-negative bacteria in the gut. Some LPS is normal. The more significant concern is when you have higher LPS Biosynthesis Pathways in combination with a Not Optimal Gut Lining Health score (check out both of your scores). When the gut lining is poor, those LPS molecules can more easily cross the gut barrier and enter blood circulation, leading to inflammation. Caring for your gut lining is an essential step in preventing this cascade.

When thinking about managing the biosynthesis of LPS, think about creating a happy environment in your gut by limiting pro-inflammatory foods and choosing a variety of foods high in polyphenols. Avoiding a high-fat diet, especially high in saturated fat, can also be helpful as high-fat diets increase LPS production. Eating a variety of fermented foods and foods with prebiotic fibers, while also limiting alcohol, can also help maintain a healthy balance of your gut microbes to avoid an overproduction of LPS.


We’re getting deep into microbiology here, so let’s break it down.

  • Gram-negative bacteria – a type of bacteria that has outer and internal membranes, with a cell wall that separates the two membranes that is thinner than other bacteria. If the cell wall is ruptured, the bacteria can release endotoxins.

  • Endotoxin – a toxin inside a bacterial cell that is released when the cell breaks down.

  • Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) – chemical components that make up the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. It is a pro-inflammatory molecule that can be harmful when released from the gram-negative bacterium and allowed to escape the gut microbiome into the bloodstream.

As our expert stated, the best way to address your LPS Biosynthesis Pathways score that is Not Optimal (or maintain a Good score) is to limit your pro-inflammatory foods and look for foods high in polyphenols. A heart-healthy diet is also a great place to start, and sticking to your Viome recommendations if your Gut Lining Health and LPS Biosynthesis Pathways scores need a little TLC. 


My results give me a list of foods to avoid that I eat every day. The main ones that I'm finding tricky are egg yolks, turmeric, grass-fed beef, and venison. I eat 3 eggs for breakfast and my body seems to do well on this. What can I substitute eggs with if I need to avoid them?


There are several egg substitutes available on the market. I haven't tried them, so I can't offer a personal recommendation, but there are options for vegans and vegetarians. Otherwise, you would want to replace the egg with a lean protein source. Chicken or turkey meat options can be a good alternative. Salmon lox is a common European breakfast staple that might be an even better option. Plain, low-fat, high-protein yogurt (like Greek yogurt) is also a suitable replacement.


When it comes to breakfast, there are times when you may need to think beyond the traditional staples that we know and love. Eggs, bacon, cereal, toast, fruit, or a smoothie are go-tos for many in the morning. 

But what if you find your Avoid list has quite a few foods you have relied on as your regular breakfast fare? Maybe it’s time to take a break from your usual morning meal and eat a not-so-normal morning meal for the next 4-6 months. There’s no hard and fast rule that you must eat breakfast-type foods in the morning! What about a salad? Maybe a sprouted wheat wrap with hummus and roasted veggies made to go? How about a fantastic dose of dietary fiber with chia pudding or cold oats with fresh berries? Any food that you eat in the morning counts as breakfast.   


I'm finding it most difficult to replace sauces and condiments. Any suggestions?


Since I’m unsure what specific foods you’re seeing on your Avoid list, we’ll talk about some good swaps. In general, avocado is a great replacement for both mayo and cheese. Adding pickles, jalapeños, or olives to sandwiches can add a layer of acidity and freshness that can help to replace mustard or ketchup if vinegar or tomatoes are on your Avoid list. Replacing tomato sauce with any green pesto (or a garlic and olive oil combo) can help with pasta or pizzas. Hope this helps!


Need some great food swaps for those tough foods on your Avoid list? This gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase our webinar event: Cooking with the Clinical Nutrition Team.

Our clinical nutritionists outline all the basic groups of hard-to-substitute foods, with suggestions for each:

  • The “food viruses” – tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers

  • The “chef standards” – onions, garlic, celery, carrots

  • The leafy greens – kale, spinach, chard

  • Cruciferous veggies – broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts

  • Proteins, eggs

  • Sweeteners

  • Grains

  • Plus – Planning, prepping, and strategizing tips 

  • And – how to use ChatGPT to create a personalized menu just for you!

cooking with the CN team

Watch Now


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