Every living organism produces RNA molecules from their DNA. By sequencing all of the RNA in the samples we receive, we can identify and quantify all of the living microorganisms in the gut (bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, archaea, fungi, yeast 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.
While identifying the microorganisms in the gut is important, we gain the most insight when we can also understand their function. To maintain health, our bodies require many biochemicals produced by the gut microbiome. Some well-known examples are vitamin K, B vitamins, and short-chain fatty acids (for example butyrate). The microbes can also produce harmful biochemicals, such as LPS. Many microbes are capable of making both good and bad biochemicals. The biochemical output depends on the food we eat and the interactions among the hundreds of species of microorganisms.
By analyzing the genes that 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, a person can fine-tune the function of their gut microbiome to minimize production of harmful metabolites and maximize the production of beneficial ones.