What is the difference between Viome and other gut microbiome companies?
Viome is the only company whose gut microbiome test can be used to accurately make personalized diet and nutrition recommendations. The reason is our unique technology, which no other direct-to-consumer company possesses or offers.
Most microbes in your gut can produce molecules that benefit you (humans evolved to depend on them), harm you, or have no impact on your health. The ONLY genomic test that can tell which molecules they are actually producing is called metatranscriptomic analysis. All other companies that claim they can infer functional data from DNA sequencing are not telling you the truth.
Gut Microbiome Composition
Every living organism produces RNA molecules from their DNA. By sequencing all of the RNA in your stool, we can identify and quantify all of the living microorganisms in your gut (bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, archaea, fungi, yeast, parasites, and more) at the species and strain level. The end result? A higher resolution view of your gut microbiome than has ever been available before.
Gut Microbiome Gene Expression
While identifying the microorganisms in your gut is important, we gain the most insight when we can also understand their function. This is because the microbes in your gut produce thousands of chemicals, called metabolites, that affect your overall wellness. Some of these microbial metabolites can be beneficial to our health, such as vitamin B and short chain fatty acids, while others can be detrimental, such as TMAO, which causes coronary artery disease.
By analyzing the genes that your microbes express, we can identify which metabolites they produce – in other words, we can determine their role in your body’s ecosystem. By following Viome’s diet and lifestyle recommendations, you’ll be able to fine-tune the function of your gut microbiome to minimize production of harmful metabolites and maximize the production of beneficial ones.
The table below compares the three most common types of gut microbiome tests.
16S Sequencing 1
Metagenomic analysis 2
Viome Metatranscriptome Sequencing
|Identifies only a fraction of your gut bacteria; unable to identify nonbacterial microorganisms||Cannot identify any RNA viruses or RNA bacteriophages||
Identifies all microorganisms living in your gut: bacteria, viruses, archaea, yeast, fungi, parasites and bacteriophages 3
|Low resolution (mostly genus and lower resolution)||High resolution (species and strain level), but does not include RNA viruses||
High resolution (species and strains) of all microorganisms
|Unreliable; sequencing the same sample twice can yield very different results4||
Minimal variation in results, but partially biased analysis (no RNA viruses)
Minimal variation in results and unbiased analysis
|Does not measure microbe functions||Does not measure microbe functions||
Quantifies the biochemical activities of all gut microorganisms
|Unable to identify microbial metabolites, which are key for maintaining health||Unable to identify microbial metabolites, which are key for maintaining health||
Identifies which metabolites are being produced and which are missing
|Sequences DNA, which can come from food and dead microorganisms||Sequences DNA, which can come from food and dead microorganisms||
Sequences RNA, which comes from live microorganisms that have a great impact on our health
|Low resolution and lack of functional data preclude any actionable recommendations||Lack of functional data preclude actionable recommendations||
Allows correlation of microbes and their functions with common chronic conditions, so actionable recommendations can be made
1Used by uBiome, American Gut Project and others.
2Used by uBiome (ExplorerPlus kit), DayTwo and others.
3We now understand that many common chronic diseases are associated with the presence of non-bacterial species in the gut.
4After sending duplicate stool samples to American Gut and uBiome, a journalist found that her results from the two companies were completely different.
How can the Gut Metatranscriptome technology improve your wellness?
- Increase microbial species associated with overall wellness
- Minimize microbial species associated with poor health
- Increase the diversity of your microbiome
- Stimulate production of beneficial metabolites
- Minimize production of metabolites associated with poor health
- Identify prebiotics that can induce growth of beneficial microbes and metabolites
- Identify the ideal ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats for your diet
- Identify foods that are most compatible with your metabolism
- Recommend a diet to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Recommend a diet that will increase your energy, focus and well-being
- Optimize your digestion and absorption
- Introduce beneficial (but missing) bacteria with probiotics
Science behind Viome
Recent research has demonstrated the microbiome’s significant role in human health and disease.
Findings from peer-reviewed scientific articles like these have helped make Viome possible.
What we eat alters our microbiome faster than expected.
Our microbiome is associated with both type II diabetes and the complications that come with it.
Food Science and Human Wellness (2013)
Our gut microbiome has been shown to influence depression, cognition, behavior, and neural development.
Molecular Psychiatry (2016)
Gut microbiota have been linked to Parkinson’s disease and its motor symptoms.
Movement Disorders (2015)
Certain bacteria have been linked to atherosclerosis, an all-too-common heart condition.
Nature Communications (2012)
Microbes are involved in the development of Alzheimer’s pathology.
Shifts in the makeup of our gut microbiome are associated with colorectal cancer.
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