What is the Gut Microbiome?

Learn about the gut microbiome, why it's important, how to balance your microbiome, and how to test your gut health.


The Gut Microbiome

Your gut microbiome is a collection of approximately 40 trillion (yes, with a “T”) different organisms living in your gut (you also have microbiomes in other parts of your body, like your mouth and skin). These organisms include bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, and viruses. This whole world of microbes plays a critical role in your health.

Why is the human microbiome important?

The human gut microbiome is essential for our development, immunity and nutrition intake. The bacteria living in our gut microbiome help us digest food, regulate our immune system, and produce vitamins. It is essential for our overall health.

Understanding the human gut microbiome and how it impacts our health and overall being is currently one of the hottest health topics in health. In recent years, your “gut bacteria” have been linked to your overall health, influencing your metabolism through blood glucose and weight management, to your mood and mental health. It has even been linked to how individuals respond to certain medicines.

Interestingly, each person has a unique gut microbiome which is heavily influenced by the dietary ingredients in food. The micronutrients in our food are the raw materials for specific microbiome functions. Because every person’s gut microbiome is unique, the same food given to two people can cause the microbiome of one person to produce beneficial molecules and the other person's harmful molecules.

What are the symptoms of an unhealthy gut?

There are many symptoms that those with a suboptimal gut can possibly experience. Occasional diarrhea or constipation, gas, and bloating are all consequences of an unbalanced gut, with certain microbes outnumbering others and producing substances that may not be the most beneficial for your digestive system, or your body.


Listen to your gut.

How do I balance my microbiome?

One of the best ways to help balance the microbes in your gut is to eat the foods that will be the most beneficial to you and your microbes, and also eliminate the foods that feed the microbes that are producing those inflammatory substances that hamper healthy digestion. And as well, adding in any vitamins, food extracts, probiotics and prebiotics that will effectively work with your diet and are precisely formulated for you. Of course the next question is—how do I know which foods to eat and to not eat and what supplements to take? Simple. Decode yourself with the Viome Gut Intelligence test!

How do I test my gut microbiome?

The Viome Gut Intelligence Test is a specialized gut microbiome test where you submit a small stool sample to our lab, answer a short questionnaire about your body and your health, then we process your sample to find out an amazing amount of information about you and your gut microbiome on a molecular level.

Viome uses a proprietary technology, originally developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory called metatranscriptomic sequencing. This technology allows us to see every microorganism in your gut microbiome and analyze the activity of these microorganisms. This far surpasses any other gut testing technology, such as 16S and Metagenomic Analysis (which both use DNA), as metatranscriptomics looks at RNA and identifies all microorganisms living in your gut: bacteria, archaea, yeast, fungi, and eukaryotes, as well as what those microbes do and produce there, giving you the fullest picture available of your current gut microbiome health. Most microbes are neither absolutely good nor bad. It depends on the functions your microbes are performing and how they’re working together. Our snapshot of your current microbiome health gives you the full story on your microbes, what they’re doing and producing.

Can my gut microbiome change when I implement my recommendations?

Yes! When you implement your Viome food and supplement recommendations, your microbiome may experience changes. And in fact, your gut microbiome is constantly in flux depending on what you feed it, along with environmental conditions, such as stress. As everybody’s gut microbiome is unique, how fast or slow these changes happen all depends on you and your personal journey.

What will I get if I test with Health Intelligence instead of Gut Intelligence?

Viome’s Gut Intelligence Test is our original, groundbreaking health test that uses a stool sample to measure your microbial gene expression and gives you insights about your gut microbiome health along with nutrition recommendations to help improve areas that need attention.

With our new, world-first test, Health Intelligence, we build on the foundation of our Gut Intelligence Test to reveal how your gut microbiome is impacting the rest of your body. With this test, we analyze not only microbial gene expression, but also mitochondrial and human gene expression. 

Health Intelligence gives you insights into Cellular Health, Immune System Health, Stress Response Health, Mitochondrial Health, and Biological Age plus over 30 more subscores beneath these main health areas. Your food, supplement, probiotic, and prebiotic recommendations are based on these scores and your full profile analysis.

How can I see my test results?

Your results are easily accessible on the Viome app, available for iOS and Android platforms. Your results are also available for online access at my.viome.com.

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