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Real Member Questions: Microbial Activity, Probiotics, Supplements for Hair, and More!

Real Member Questions 3

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 38:


I’ve heard that it is a good idea to switch up taking probiotics. Is that true? If it is how would you do that if you are subscribed to the supplement program? The only time the probiotics would change is when I retest, at 6 months.


It is a common recommendation for people taking non-specific probiotic support to rotate strains/products and benefit from a variety of functional activities in order to receive “broad” support. However, because Viome is actually measuring and targeting specific pathway activities and microbial taxa we do not recommend rotating biotics until you retest and new targets are identified based on your score results. This method improves our effectiveness at improving your scores and any addressing any day-to-day signs or symptoms you may be experiencing.


We recommend retesting to check in with your body around every 4-6 months of working with your Viome test results and recommendations. 

This means that if you are not used to doing so, listening to your body and what it’s saying to you on a daily or weekly basis. This can be as simple as:

  • How do you feel after you eat?

  • How are you sleeping?

  • How does your skin look?

  • How is your energy?

  • Are you able to focus well during work and play? 

  • How is your digestion?

If these elements are not as positive as they once were when your recommendations were new, it may be time to do a retest with the Viome Intelligence test of your choice.

Keeping a journal is a good way to do this, or there are apps (just search “health journal” in your app store) that can help you keep track of how you are doing. Marking these points on your health journey gives you milestones so you know where you are, and where you want to be in the future. Then, Viome can help with a new set of recommendations to help pave that path forward, with food and nutrient adjustments as needed. 


I received my results from Viome over a year ago and have always struggled with identifying the bacteria and whether some are detrimental and need an overview from a physician. If you have bad bacteria that is harming your microbiome and Viome recommends food and supplements would those recommendations eliminate the bacteria causing harm?


At Viome, we assess the activity of your microbes because activity is more important than simply who is there in your microbiome. Most people have both commensal (helpful) and harmful bacteria in their gut and oral cavity and often those harmful bacteria can remain there and be kept in check by our beneficial bacteria without a problem. It's when we create an environment in which those harmful bacteria can thrive is when we run into trouble. Our food and supplement recommendations are designed to influence the activities of the microbes in your gut and help create that healthy environment in which our commensal bacteria can thrive. If you have concerns about specific bacteria, we recommend you consult with your doctor. 


While it can be alarming to see some of the names of bacteria that are found in the results of your Viome test, especially if they are organisms with names that are a bit scary like Akkermansia muciniphila or Escherichia coli. We all want to summarily label bacteria as “good” and “bad.” But it’s important to remember that the same organism can be good one day, bad the next, and neutral the day after. So, to fully understand your microbiome and make lifestyle changes that are right for you, you have to understand what your microbiome is doing biochemically. Sure, the bacteria may exist in your microbiome, but it’s what they do there with the food you feed them that either helps you or harms you that is the important part of the equation. Find out more about the process of microbial gene expression - the activity of your microbiome.


My hair is thinning. Is there anything that can be added to my Viome Precision Supplements to help with that or foods that can help?


There are many factors that can influence hair thinning such as genetics, stress, medications, or certain hair products/styling treatments. If you're taking any medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist to determine if they could be contributing to your hair thinning. 

Nutrients like omega-3s (from salmon or other fatty fish), vitamin C (guava, citrus, bell pepper), biotin (legumes, egg yolks mushrooms), niacin (tuna, chicken), iron (nuts and leafy greens), zinc (oysters and other seafood) and other B vitamins (nutritional yeast) can all help support a healthy hair follicle. 

Having a daily mindfulness practice can also help minimize your perceived stress. This might include meditation, walking, breathwork, or doing something creative. Be sure to only use natural hair and beauty products. Please keep in mind, we don't have the ability to add ingredients to your formula at this time, nor are we able to diagnose or treat any diseases. Hair thinning is considered a disease so be sure to work with your doctor to find an appropriate treatment protocol.


Daily mindfulness practices, although seemingly simple, wield remarkable power in alleviating symptoms of stress in your daily life. Regular mindfulness activities are varied:

But all run along a similar theme to cultivate a heightened awareness of your thoughts and emotions. This heightened awareness enables you to respond to stressors with greater composure, as you become better equipped to recognize triggers and choose your reactions deliberately. Over time, these practices can help rebalance your reactions to stressful situations and promote a sense of calm. Through their simplicity, daily mindfulness practices become a steadfast ally in your journey toward stress relief, higher productivity, and enhanced well-being.1

Researchers from the American Psychological Association reviewed over 200 studies of healthy people using mindfulness-based therapy and found it was effective in reducing stress, anxiousness, and depressive feelings.2


Do you have a question about your Viome journey?

Have you joined our weekly live chat Q&A session?

Viome is built on a premise of biochemical individuality–meaning your biology and biochemistry is uniquely your own!

We measure over 10 million data points from expressed genes per sample from microbial (oral and gut) and human cells, allowing us to quantify, influence, and monitor your cellular and microbial pathways. This lets us know the nutrients or ingredients you need in order to stimulate or suppress certain functions and bring you back into balance.

We then create a supplement formula unique to every customer–precisely engineered for you based on what your scores reveal you need most.

In other words. every Viome journey is personal and dynamic.

Which makes it endlessly fascinating to explore and answer your questions along the way.

and we love every minute!!

Join our official Viome Facebook Community Group

It's an inspired collective of like-minded individuals committed to their health–like you.

And every week, we dive into Q&A Wednesday.

Every Wednesday, at 11 am PST, our Viome Clinical Nutrition Team hosts a live chat Q&A session to answer any pending questions about your Viome results & recommendations, Viome supplements, and your Viome journey.

The question thread opens early in the week, so you may submit your question in advance or attend live!

We hope you will join the conversation.

Follow this link, request to join, answer the questions, and we will see you inside the community.

Team Viome


1 Bartlett, L., Buscot, M., Bindoff, A., Chambers, R., & Hassed, C. (2021). Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 724126.

2 (2019, Oct. 30). Blog - Mindfulness, American Psychological Association.