Health Intelligence - Upgrade Your Health IQ
In our digital age, when we think of technology, this word has become tightly interconnected with medicine. However, perhaps even more frequently, the bigger link is with the word Health and Health-Tech. Health trackers have become our daily life companions, from exercise and diet to symptom logging, they remind us when to take pills or supplements, measure heart rate through smartphones, and inform us if our diet seems low on some nutrients. Digital health holds the promise of empowering every single one of us with the ability to make more educated and data-driven choices in our everyday life. But how do we know if the supposedly healthy diets or routines we follow are truly healthy for each one of us? Our chances of personal health success depend on how personalized our action plans are to the current state of our bodies. Tracking what goes on biologically in our bodies is as good as 1) the health data we can collect and 2) our motivation to understand and improve our digitized selves.
Here at Viome, we analyze your samples by combining expert systems biology, nutritional research, and an AI approach that allows us to systematically analyze the data and integrate it into personalized dietary and supplement recommendations. At our core, Viome’s mission is to view each human as a unique and complex system. This has required substantial efforts to use and expand on the scientific research of chronic diseases and combine it with innovative computer systems technology.
Systems biology is an approach in biomedical research to understanding the larger picture—be it at the level of the organism, tissue, or cell—by putting its pieces together. It's in stark contrast to decades of reductionist biology, which involves taking the pieces apart. The biology of a human body is a dynamic interplay between complex cellular, molecular, organ, and tissue systems, all of which can be impacted by the different nutrients and toxins that can come either from our diet or produced by the trillions of microbes that thrive inside us - from our oral cavity to the gut. Our approach enables us to determine precise personalization of food or supplements for every person and allows us to quantify, manipulate, and track cellular and microbial pathways, revealing how molecules are made or used, which functions in the body can get stimulated or suppressed, and how it all can be manipulated by following recommendations designed for you.
Viome’s RNA sequencing technology, licensed from Los Alamos National Lab, measures gene expression, which is actively transcribed “messages” in all living organisms. Like DNA, RNA (ribonucleic acid) is used to express genetic information, but incorporates ‘actively involved’ genes. Their expression tells us what is happening inside and not just who is present. While DNA does not change, RNA is dynamic and fluctuates as we change our diets or lifestyles or even as we transition between different states of health.
Measuring RNA offers a way to tell what is actively happening inside and the different levels of activities of various molecular pathways that make up health-related functions. Viome has scaled direct-to-consumer services to test and quantify all microbial and human RNA. Then, individual assessments are used to develop integrative health metrics that provide each person with their own analyses including over 30 different health scores. Each score describes a cellular pathway and ranks the health of each level. But most importantly, we create evidence-based, personalized food and supplement recommendations assisted by a team of world-renowned translational scientists and our proprietary AI technology to promote a healthier state with your precise needs. Our goal is to make getting the nutrients you need easy, affordable, and without the “extra” things you don’t need often found in off-the-shelf supplements and biotics.
How Your Health Intelligence Scores Are Categorized
Health Intelligence offers an integrative view on human health from human and microbiome perspectives at multiple levels of resolution, from specific pathways responsible for an individual’s molecular underpinnings of inflammation or detoxification pathways to broader health areas such as:
Immune System Health
Stress Response Health
We then translate these cellular and molecular signals using advanced Artificial Intelligence and Translational Science knowledge to provide individuals with precise health scores and nutrition recommendations (superfoods, foods to avoid, supplements) that their bodies uniquely need.
You may be surprised by some of the things you learn!
Does your body say you are younger or older than the age on your birth certificate?
Is your immune system prepared for invading bacteria or viruses?
How is your gut microbiome impacting your glycemic response?
Are you eating more protein than your body can handle?
Are your cells receiving enough energy to function efficiently in order to prevent accelerated aging?
Are your cells performing their functions efficiently or undergoing stress due to oxidative stress, inflammation, or environmental toxins?
Over time, your recommended food and supplement scores may change depending on the way your body functions and feels. With regular testing, our technology allows us to make adjustments to your recommendations and fine-tune them in a dynamic way that is unique to your biology. If you’re subscribed to Precision Supplements, Precision Probiotics + Prebiotics, or both, we’ll update your formula with your new ingredients as needed.
The Health Score Breakdown
With each Health Intelligence™ Test, you’ll receive an inclusive list of scores that can illuminate the state of your health. Each score is an assessment that depicts a snapshot of your health at the time of your test. Please remember that these scores can change with time, based on your lifestyle and nutritional routine. However, testing at regular intervals can help show you the trends of your body and how it responds to changes in your diet.
Don’t Forget: Your Recommendations Are Specific to You!
Every person receives unique scores, food, and supplement recommendations based on their own individual health profile. Your results depict the individual state of your system - therefore your personalized food and supplement recommendations will never be generalized and may vary greatly from your neighbor.
Gut Microbiome Health
(Also available with Viome’s Gut Intelligence™ Test)
Are your microbes allowing you to get those polyphenol antioxidant benefits? Can your microbes digest the oxalates in that spinach salad? Are you eating more protein than your gut can handle right now?
These are only a few of the things you may learn from our first score, Gut Microbiome Health, derived from Viome’s flagship gut microbiome analysis, which has been available for several years and used now by over 200,000 customers. Your gut microbiome is linked to your weight, energy, stress, sleep, and immunity among many health benefits. You are probably already familiar with the notion that you can promote gut health by increasing microbial richness and diversity. However, it’s not all about the number and variety of organisms you have, but also about the diversity and balance of functions they perform. The more active microbial types you have and the more beneficial functions are taking place, the more adaptability and resilience you will have for your microbiome, your gut, and your health.
Viome combines more than 20 scores and pathways including Inflammatory Activity, Digestive Efficiency, Metabolic Fitness, Gut Lining Health, Active Microbial Diversity and more in order to make up your high-level gut health score. Based on biochemical pathways contributing to each of the functions we focus on, some people may need to boost certain nutrient levels (like butyrate) while others may need to reduce specific gases or toxin production (such as ammonia, LPS, or sulfide).
These scores can tell us a lot about how your gut microbiome is operating - including which foods might pose a risk to the overall health of you or your gut colony. Although many foods are very healthy, they can contain hard-to-digest compounds that require the help of your gut microbiome. Without the right level of balance or microbial richness in your gut, these superfoods might not be the best choice for you. For example, spinach - with all its leafy green glory - is rich in oxalates. If your gut ecosystem doesn’t support plenty of oxalate-digesting microbes, that oxalate may bind with calcium in your diet and increase your risk of kidney stones. But by assessing who is inside you and what they are doing, we can provide precision recommendations that help diversify and stabilize your gut microbiome.
If this score is suboptimal in your results, it can be improved through target dietary and supplement recommendations. And at Viome, we get specific - down to particular prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, and nutrients through food or precision supplements. We’ve got just the formula for you!
The following scores are only available with our Health Intelligence Test, however, our Health Intelligence Test does include your Gut Microbiome Health score mentioned above.
The scores below include thousands of custom-built pathway components manually curated from comprehensive peer-reviewed literature and translational science expert logic and made scalable by Viome’s powerful AI platform.
This score reveals the overall state and functional health of your human cells. Unique insights into overall cellular function health include cellular stress, mitochondrial health, and immune response. This score reveals how your body is able to generate energy to perform essential functions, manage stress, and repair and care for itself.
If this high-level score is not optimal - this can mean that specific functional areas need improvement and individual “molecular tune-up” of the needed pathway activities involved in immune and antioxidant support, energy production, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory functions.
Immune System Health
Your immune system is your body’s impressive defense response that fights against infection and promotes the natural healing properties of your body. Supporting a healthy immune system can include disrupting inflammatory cycles or relieving strain or stress on your immune cells. This score combines insights into inflammatory activity in the gut microbiome along with your cellular immune system to evaluate the body’s defenses. The score is thus made up of two integrative functional scores, Inflammatory Activity (included with your Gut Microbiome Health score) and Immune System Activation.
Immune System Activation is unique in a way that it is suboptimal at both high and low ends of the spectrum. High means there is too much immune system activation, either because of stress or fighting some infection, or because there is something that immune cells recognize as foreign (even if it is own body cell components), or there is an allergic reaction or food sensitivity, or there may be too much pro-inflammatory and not enough anti-inflammatory response that tells our immune system to “put the guard down.”
On the other hand, when there is too little expression that maps to Immune System Activation pathways, it may also be not optimal because it may suggest that too little activity is happening from the immune system side, and it is highly unlikely that it is due to absolutely no existing threat, as our immune system is constantly dealing with something, even if in very small amounts. Hence, you may see supplements that can activate the immune system in a positive way, like the beet extract, as well as those that suppress the immune system, like Curcumin or Butyrate, and or help out our immunity with antimicrobial qualities, such as those of the elderberry.
A little more information:
Some of the scientific themes we include in Immune System Activation specific to your blood, includes but is not limited to the following pathways:
- Antiviral or antibacterial defense response (includes toll-like receptor signaling (TLR))
- Cytokine signaling (macrophages, dendritic cells, Th17, other T and B cells, monocytes and other immune cells’ activation & proliferation, includes and immunotherapy targets)
- Tissue remodeling and wound healing [when genes normally needed to patch up a site of injury are turned on, recruiting too many adhesion factors, thrombocytes/platelets, which can have adverse effects on endothelial cells lining the blood vessels, as well as the cardiometabolic consequences, like atherogenic and hypertensive effects]
- Histamine signaling an allergic response (includes basophils and eosinophil activation)
- Prostaglandin Biosynthesis (COX2)
Stress Response Health
This score combines insights from your microbiome-induced-induced stress factors, as well as your own (host) cellular functions that get activated in response to various triggers of cellular stress.They may come from your lifestyle, environment, and physiological response to emotions. Additionally, some signals originate from inflammation or toxins produced by your gut microbiome.
If this score is suboptimal, it indicates elevated activity levels of pathways that can result in a higher Cellular Stress or Microbiome-Induced Stress score, or both, which can both have a negative impact on the overall Stress Response Health score. This may be due to oxidative or other types of stress in human cells, and/or your gut microbiome may be producing toxic or inflammatory stress-inducing byproducts (e.g., putrescine, ammonia, cadaverine). In addition, a high salt diet may induce ‘salt stress’ signaling, known to promote an unhealthy environment in the gut. Changes in lifestyle, food, and supplement intake can address your unique patterns of stress and support the restoration of your cellular balance and resilience.
In the case of a suboptimal Cellular Stress score, your recommendations may adapt an antioxidant protocol in your foods and supplement choices. Many different foods and compounds express ‘antioxidant potential,’ meaning they can neutralize free radicals or oxidative toxins that can cause damage to our cells. However, each compound can also show other properties in addition to antioxidant potential, or even interact with other scores in a negative (or positive) manner. Not all antioxidants are equal, though, and while some may be best for some people, others may not work due to the individual’s biology which gets assessed integratively from both human and microbiome perspectives.
Alternatively, not all oxidative stress is negative. Free radicals may actually be beneficial in fighting infections as they can combat viruses and have antimicrobial properties. It is only when they accumulate and fail to be neutralized that damage can occur. Consequently, it can have detrimental effects if your oxidative stress levels are insufficient.
A little more information:
The Cellular Stress score, includes but is not limited to the following pathway themes:
- Oxidative stress (due to high levels of free radicals) is capable of damaging our cells’ membranes and organelles, which can be caused by overproduction or insufficient removal of mitochondrial metabolism byproducts
- Unfolded protein response (UPR) or Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) stress, all of which can be caused by inflammation, high-fat diet, environmental exposures or microbial sources of stress induction
- Genotoxic stress
- Hypoxia-induced stress (insufficient oxygenation, HIF1-alpha)
- Antioxidant defense response pathways (includes Sirtuins and NRF2)
- Stress-induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) through p38/JNK signaling, includes Calcium signaling
- Antiviral or antimicrobial stress response
Cellular Senescence, a subscore of our Stress Response Health score, includes but is not limited to the following pathway themes:
- Dysfunction in cellular proteostasis (ability to make, fold, deliver and degrade various proteins)
- DNA damage markers and repair signaling
- Regulation of telomeres and cellular immortalization
- Oxidative and other stress-induced progressive functional decline
- Autophagy, stem-cell and regenerative signaling decline
No need to remind you that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, supplying energy for basic cellular functions. However, the health of your mitochondria is also associated with aging, metabolism, cardiovascular, and brain health.
If this score is suboptimal, it could mean that either the mechanisms supporting this vital compartment of the cell are not active resulting in insufficient Mitochondrial Biogenesis Pathways (one of the contributing scores), or that some metabolic reactions may be deficient in molecules that serve as cofactors, transport activators, or coenzymes needed to produce cellular energy (ATP), which is reported as the Energy Production Pathways scores. Depending on the personal functional profile, some people may find more sources of particular B-vitamins recommended, while others will see NAD+ precursors, L-carnitine, or CoQ10 recommended based on their test results.
A little more information:
These subscores help make up your overall Mitochondrial Health score:
Mitochondrial Biogenesis Pathways: everything needed to create and maintain mitochondria to meet cellular life demands; includes master regulator PGC1-alpha signaling.
- Energy Production Pathways: from various inputs to carbohydrate metabolism pathways, like Glycolysis, to pyruvate metabolism, fatty acid transport and oxidation breakdown, Krebb’s or The Citric Acid Cycle, as well as the electron transport chain and ubiquinone pathways, all of which are needed for generation of ATP (the energy molecule that fuels our cells).
It’s very possible that your biological age may be different than your chronological age. Viome’s AI has analyzed data from >200,000 customers to match molecular patterns from people of different ages in order to determine your Biological Age score.
Learn more about Biological Age with Guru Banavar, Viome’s Chief Technology Officer:
How Can My Food & Supplement Recommendations Improve My Scores?
Everything we do is centered around personalization. By treating each person as an individual with a unique set of health circumstances, we are finally making progress in shifting away from a one-size-fits-all approach to precision nutrition and health. Thus, your recommendations are specifically tied to your individual scores.
Although many components of your recommendations may contain similar nutrients to foods on your ‘Minimize’ list, each individual item was expertly chosen to serve your unique needs. Even the most subtle of differences may make a difference to the overall health of you and your gut.
Based on our analysis, here are just a few examples to demonstrate how specific recommendations might be tailored to one individual’s results:
Which Berry is Best for Your Immune and Cellular Health?
The beneficial properties of berries are usually attributed to their diverse composition of ‘polyphenols,’ a family of antioxidants. Many berries have various anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the human body, but they are also needed to support the gut lining and the microbiome that supports the lining and many health functions. For example, cranberry is beneficial in stimulating Akkermansia, a type of bacteria that lives in the gut and supports its mucosal lining. Akkermansia has anti-inflammatory effects and is associated with leaner metabolic profiles, as well as better insulin sensitivity and glycemic control.
Blueberries can be helpful for some people with certain types of inflammatory and/or stress response pathways. They are a good source of Vitamin C and rich in antioxidant ‘polyphenols’ with neuro-protective effects1. However, when a person has some of the blueberry viruses active in the gut microbiome, this berry may do more harm than good as it will help the virus thrive. This can cause more pro-inflammatory effects, as viruses easily cross the intestinal barrier and may even reach the blood-brain barrier. Instead, depending on the host and microbiome pathways and specific gene expression, other sources of anthocyanins and other antioxidants will be recommended, such as raspberry, for example. It has similar and other documented benefits2.
Strawberries contain many nutrients, one of which is an antioxidant called fisetin. Depending on the overall functional profiles and what is known from the person’s data, this nutrient in the form of strawberry as food or as a supplement, can be of particular benefit to some people who need antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and mitochondrial health support3.
Boosting your Mitochondrial Potential
Mitochondria is the energy generator for the cell, which needs to provide energy for varying cellular demands. Optimal performance of mitochondria may be affected by several pathways or factors such as ability of mitochondria to sense the energy demands, availability of cofactors, transport activators, or coenzymes needed to produce cellular energy (ATP), or the number of functional mitochondria within the cell itself. Depending on the personal functional profile, we make recommendations to boost the overall Mitochondrial Health. For example: Resveratrol, NAD+ precursors, and fisetin are some of the available supplements that can improve sirtuin function, oxidative stress levels, cellular and mitochondrial health; or supply more cofactors needed for its metabolic functions and energy production (like CoQ10, NAD+ precursors, or L-carnitine).
If Cutting Out Eggs is Right For You
Choline, which can come from the diet (eggs, animal protein, some cruciferous vegetables, legumes) or supplements is known for its tissue repair and cognitive benefits. It can also be beneficial for those people whose Cellular Stress score is high with possible damage to cellular membranes, since choline is used for cell membrane integrity or support, involved in making DNA, as well as in fat transport and metabolism. On the other hand, microbial production of TMA (trimethylamine) can be enhanced by choline. TMA can be recycled through the blood to the liver where it gets converted to TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide), which has been implicated in adverse cardiometabolic effects. Depending on the pathways from the blood gene expression, choline can be used when Cellular Senescence and Stress Response scores are high, while Mitochondrial Biogenesis is low to support gut-brain axis health. But in situations when microbial TMA production pathway scores are showing high levels of this activity, this might not be beneficial.
The Future Name in Digital Health Analysis: Where We’re Headed
As excited as we are about our innovative Health Intelligence Test, this has proven to be just one of the many accomplishments we have achieved since our doors opened. Our dedication to overcoming chronic diseases has been unrelenting. We have fought to redefine how the world views and treats illness starting with how we view our food.
As Hippocrates said, ‘Food is thy medicine’ - and rather than consistently working to treat the symptoms of disease, we are committed to eliminating it from our vocabulary. Let us then consider how the foods we consume are broken down by our bodies and converted into the essential components that drive life forward - and ultimately impact our risk of disease.
After all, nutrition is preventative medicine - and precision nutrition is preventative medicine for you.
By understanding the fundamentals of nutrition and how foods interact with our body, scientists believe we may be holding the missing link to disease research. But now with introduction of the gut microbiome, researchers are finally filling the gaps to so many illnesses, unmasking the complex relationship between our food and our gut ecosystem. Despite the nutritional value of all the different compounds in our food, it is from the efforts of our gut microbiota that we reap the most benefit. Without this necessary aspect of digestion, many of the nutrients that support a healthy body would not be made available. At Viome, we have continued to support these research efforts in our lab, and in labs around the world as we further investigate the causes of chronic disease.
Part of our promise has been to continually develop cutting-edge technology and support the development of innovative health tech. We may have started with our Gut Intelligence Test, and expanded with our Health Intelligence Test - including our own line of precision food and supplement recommendations - but we’re committed to so much more.
We believe in the future of Viome’s research and development teams expanding on our current lines to incorporate a series of other potential tests.
We plan to integrate the data we generate from your digital health footprint into further understanding the influence of the endocrine system. Hormone signaling is deeply involved in the maintenance of normal bodily functions. This signaling can be disrupted by conditions like metabolic syndrome, thyroid disease, and cancer. We are already targeting various endocrine pathways including:
Estrogens, androgens, and other hormone signaling cascades
Microbial recycling of estriol and other estrogen metabolites by various enzymes like beta-glucuronidase
Microbial synthesis of steroid hormone precursors
Thyroid hormone regulation and the role of the microbiome in thyroid hormone synthesis
The health of your body is closely associated with the health of your cardiovascular system. Cardiometabolic fitness can help us stay strong and resilient. Understanding the complex interactions between diet, physical activity, and the cardiovascular system can support a longer lifespan and higher quality of life. We’re examining many pathways to support cardiometabolic health including:
Metabolic pathways that regulate satiety and energy utilization (Leptin, Adiponectin, LPL)
Microbial contribution to Metabolic Fitness
Insulin sensitivity and glycemic response control
Cholesterol, triglyceride, and hyperlipidemia-related pathways
The Gut-Brain axis is a well established connection that links the gut microbiome to the brain via multiple immune and hormonal signaling pathways and more direct connections like the vagus nerve. Chemical signals are sent and received via this link often relaying significant information about inflammation, hunger, mood, and stress.
Also, think fight-or-flight, rest-and-digest: both the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system are tightly connected to what’s happening in the gut. We plan to explore this interaction and its impact on mood disorders and neurodegenerative disease via the following pathways:
Neurotransmitter signaling and recycling of tryptophan-serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine
Microbial contribution to neurotransmitters and brain inflammation, from viruses and leaky gut to microbial neurotransmitter secretion and glutamine-glutamate balance
Stress-induced impacts on memory and cognition
Neurotrophic factors like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling
As we continue to focus on our efforts of developing the next wave of Viome services - we know that we wouldn’t make it without our support system of world-renowned researchers and expanding line of partnerships.
Viome has developed the world’s largest comprehensive platform for analyzing human and microbial functions at the microscopic level to discover the underlying reasons for chronic diseases, cancer, and aging. Our goal is to continue to create therapeutic targets for these diseases (and more) by combining human gene expression and microbial gene expression. We are continuing to prove the benefits of our innovative technology, which is why we are expanding our reach with the help of research partnerships. Already, Viome has also established partnerships with many leading pharma companies, universities and clinical centers such as GSK, the Mayo Clinic, UCLA, QUT, and AdventHealth. These relationships represent the potential of our digital systems biology platform in improving personalized and preventative healthcare.
As we continue to expand our research efforts, our focus is to increase the applicability of our innovative technology in disease research. Viome is continuing to show promise as we advance new insights into a broad range of diseases. The information we accrue can be used to find solutions for managing and treating chronic conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. As we move forward, our goal is to continue to connect with like-minded people and organizations that support the elimination of chronic disease. This means expanding our partnerships to include companies and both academic and clinical institutions interested in advancing the understanding of whole system health.
At Viome, we are determined to create a worldwide network that not only expands our current understanding of the intricate dynamic between our gut microbiome and our body - but to confront and overcome the obstacles we face in achieving optimal health.
Dias GP, Cavegn N, Nix A, et al. The role of dietary polyphenols on adult hippocampal neurogenesis: molecular mechanisms and behavioural effects on depression and anxiety. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:541971.
Kowalska K, Olejnik A, Zielińska-Wasielica J, et al. Raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) fruit extract decreases oxidation markers, improves lipid metabolism and reduces adipose tissue inflammation in hypertrophied 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Jour of Func. Food. Vol 62. 2019;103568.
Yousefzadeh MJ, Zhu Y, McGowan SJ, et al. Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that extends health and lifespan. EBioMedicine. 2018;36:18-28.
The information on the Viome website is provided for informational purposes only and with the understanding that Viome is not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Viome provides this educational information to share the exciting developments being reported in the scientific literature about the human microbiome and your health. Viome products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.