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Viome Test Results - Microbiome

The Microbiome in the human digestive track consists of approximately 39 trillion bacteria and there are 300 to 500 bacterial strains. This compares to the estimated 30 trillion human cells in the body. If you see estimates of 100 trillion bacteria you are reading a very out of date article. Viome uses the 100 trillion figure in some of its associated podcasts.

Along with the bacteria the Microbiome also includes viruses, fungi and parasites.

Along with looking at the Viome stool test results, the following looks at the role of the Microbiome in the human digestive track and its validity as a dietary aid.

 

Bacteria

The Viome stool test results generated of bacteria present, but gave no idea of how active any of this bacteria is - just that a strain of bacteria was detected, that wasn't dead!, and thus the list is next to useless without this activity level information.

A simple list is given of foods to avoid, minimise or enjoy.

Are Bacteria really Needed??

The Viome 'claim' is that you need the bacteria in your 'Microbiome' to be able to absorb the nutrients, electrolytes from your food - otherwise it will just end up in your stool.

However is this really true??

Digestive Track:

The digestive track is about 20-25feet long, from the mouth to where the 'sun doesn't shine', and consists primarily of the stomach, Small Intestines, Large Intestines (Colon).

Stomach:

There is digestion of protein (partial) - via enzyme pepsin, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12. Absorption then occurs in the small intestines.

Small Intestines:

This is the bulk of the digestive system, about 15-20feet. With the bile from the gall bladder and the enzymes from the pancreas this is where the digestion and absorption of most vitamins micro-nutrients / electrolytes / fat / water and the rest of the digestion of the protein to amino acids is actually carried out.

Unless you have an unhealthy small intestine they are very few bacteria resident here compared to the colon. The nutrients from your food is extracted from your food via digestive enzymes, which are primarily created from your pancreas. These enzymes work in conjunction with the enzymes in the food itself. The nutrients after digestion are then absorbed from the small intestines to your blood and lymph system, which surround the small intestines, via chemical transfer paths, which do not involve bacteria.

Fat digestion and absorption: Bile is added from the Gallbladder, at the start of the small intestines, which is also responsible for breaking down the fats into smaller 'globules'. The digestive enzymes from the Pancreas is also added at the start of the small intestines, and in association with the bile are responsible for digestion and absorption of fat. This then enables the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, A, E, D and K. Though some articles indicate fat soluble Vitamin K (K1/K2?) is absorbed in the colon.

Comment: Depending on what studies you read, in a 'healthy' small intestine there may be 'transient' bacteria generated in the small intestine in response to a high-fat diet and appear to be responsible for facilitating the generation of digestive enzymes for the fat for digestion and absorption, but other studies indicate it is the Lipolytic Bacteria, Clostridium and Desulovibro in the colon that are responsible for the digestion of dietary fats - one of these days they'll all get their act together!! However the jury is still out if either is valid.

Large Intestines (Colon):

This is the last 5 feet of the digestive track. The colon is where the majority of the bacteria of the Microbiome resides, greater than 90%, and receives the 'waste' product from the small intestine and the colon is also responsible for the synthesis and absorption of vitamin Ks and re-absorption of water and bile salts.

The bacteria are primarily in the colon for breaking down the fibre in the 'waste' product passed from the small intestine. Thus feeding the bacteria which also produce 'gas' as a by-product!!. Thus the question is - what are the bacteria actually doing for us, apart from potentially getting a 'free-lunch'!

However the Microbiome, apart from generating 'gas' also generates its own 'poop' - waste products generated from feeding off the fibre in the colon, that is the fibre that the bacteria can digest - what it can't is passed straight through. Some of the Microbiome 'poop' is absorbed into the blood stream next to the colon, but it is at this point the science is unclear on how this Microbiome 'poop', affects us.

Comment

Thus we have to ask ourselves why is Viome analysing the bacteria in the stool for determining a healthy diet, which appears to be not based on sound science - this is probably why Viome doesn't provide a scientific explanation and everything is 'shrouded' in the mysterious 'Artificial Intelligence' - though rubbish in results in rubbish out comes to mind!.

How can analysing bacteria in your stool from the colon be helpful when it is the digestive enzymes in the small intestines responsible for digestion and absorption of all nutrients and electrolytes - without the help of bacteria.

The colon consists of mainly two types of bacteria - those that are long-term residents (in the lining of the digestive track), and short-term residents (in the digestive track fluid). The short-term residents can change from day to day as our diet is changed. Thus the bacteria is constantly changing - but Viome is principally sampling the short-term bacteria that ends up in our stool - not the long-term bacteria. Thus the question must be asked, how representative of our bacteria is the Viome stool test?

Thus the value of any Viome dietary recommendation is very questionable since many of the premises the tests are based on are inaccurate.

Health

Viome emphasise the importance of the Microbiome for your health - but is that true? As indicated previously the Microbiome is primarily responsible for digesting some, but not all, of the fibre from our food, and create Microbiome 'poop' some of which passes through the colon wall into the blood stream.

Biological science currently indicates the body for growth and repair uses the vitamins / minerals / nutrients from our food - but this is controlled by the enzymes from the pancreas along with the minerals and nutrients acting as co-factors, not the Microbiome.

The role of the vitamins / minerals / nutrients is highly complex, since it also involves a balancing act between the vitamins available to the body. Supplements invariably don't provide the necessary balance required by the body, even if they are bio-available.

If the stomach acid PH is too high, this affects the body's ability to extract various minerals and proteins in the first place.

Genetics

Your genetics can affect your pre-disposition to being more prone to various health conditions, APOE4 for Alzheimer for example - but current science does not indicate changing the gut bacteria will stop you from getting Alzheimer.

Microbiome for Health.

So where does the Microbiome fit in with our health then?? - or is it passing chemical messages to the brain to encourage us to eat a double burger with all the trimmings and washed down with a fructose laden drink?

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Supplements / Probiotics:

The Viome results recommend a list of Probiotics and Supplements

 

Probiotics:

My results recommended Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacteria species.

But without ensuring you have the right prebiotics in terms of fibre these will be unable to compete with the existing bacteria and just die off. But as indicated above the bacteria is not really active in the absorption of nutrients from your food anyway - so apart from a placebo effect, a waste of money.

Probiotics fall into two main camps - fermented / non-fermented. The problem with non-fermented probiotics that you find in yogurts will survive in yogurts but not in the digestive system. Unless the newly introduce probiotic has something the existing bacteria need/want, the new bacteria will not survive.

 

Supplements:

My results recommended the taking of curcumin to get Polyphenols

I have a diet that is high in fruit and vegetables, and thus how will taking curcumin, which has low bio-availability, help to increase my polyphenols

There is no advice on increasing the bio-availability of curcumin.

If I do not have the microflora to use the polyphenols in my food, how will taking a low bio-available supplement help.

This appears to be low grade AI, and probably just an assumption everybody needs more polyphenols.

 

What was Promised:

The Dr Pedram Shojai and Dr Helen Messier video promised activity levels of your microbiome and other analysis, but in reality Viome delivered a dumbed-down second rate dietary recommendations that had too many inconsistencies to be of any benefit.

 

What you Receive:

You get a 'dumbed-down' version with very questionable AI interpretation.

 

Retest:

Will I go for a retest - you got to be joking.

If I had been aware that I was only getting a 'dumbed-down' version of that demonstrated, in the Interconnected series with Dr Pedram Shojai and Dr Helen Messier, I would not have ordered the test in the first place.

For what you get it was expensive for the poor quality information that was provided.

From my personal experience you cannot rely/know what you will get when you order a Viome test and thus the possible value of such a test is very low.

I do not want to order another wooden coat-hanger, only to end up with another rusty-nail !!

Stool Test:

Ordering a stool test from Viome is like ordering a hardwood coat-hanger and receiving a 'rusty nail'.

AI - Artificial Intelligence

AI based on unfound science??

Comment:

Too many inconsistences

to be of any value.

Poor dietry advice.

Advice to avoid food with Phytic Acid questionable.

WARNING -If you have an auto-immune issue, their supplement recommendations can make it worse!!