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Digestive Health and Wellness

5 Things Your Microbiome Can Teach You


Naveen Jain

CEO, Viome

Science has shown us that understanding the functions of the organisms that thrive in our gut can tell us a lot about our health. These organisms in our gut play a big role in how we digest food, and their functions differ greatly between each of us. This is why fad diets or a one-size-fits-all approach to health just doesn’t work. Our microbiomes are incredibly unique and shaped by our own personal experiences. It is not necessarily about the food itself, but about what our microbiome does with the food we eat.

With the information Viome uncovers about your unique microbiome, we can provide you with a personalized nutrition plan to help you restore your natural balance, improve your weight loss, help you maintain blood glucose levels, and improve digestive functions.

Curious to know some things your microbiome can reveal about you?

1. Spinach isn’t a superfood for everyone

You’ve been told to eat your greens and that greens and nuts are anti-inflammatory, but this is not always true. Spinach, bran, rhubarb, beets, nuts, and nut butters all contain oxalates. Oxalate-containing foods can be harmful unless your microbes are producing the chemicals that can metabolize oxalate into non-harmful substances or nutrients.

We’ve discovered that more than one-third of our customers are unable to metabolize oxalates properly. For these people, healthy foods like spinach could actually be doing more harm than good.

Discover your superfoods with Viome’s Gut Intelligence Test!

2. Foods containing antioxidants aren’t always good

Polyphenol antioxidants in foods are usually considered very healthy, but unless you have microbes that convert specific polyphenols into nutrients that your body can absorb, you may not get their full benefit. One example is a polyphenol called ellagic acid. We can detect if your microbiome is metabolizing ellagic acid and converting it into urolithin A. It is only the urolithin A that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Without the microbes to do this conversion, you will not benefit from the ellagic acid in foods such as walnuts, raspberries, or pomegranate.

We found that only about 50 percent of our customers actually receive the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits from eating foods that contain ellagic acid.

3. Eating Too Much Protein Can Cause Inflammation

Protein helps you build muscle and provides energy, but eating too much can cause serious inflammation.

We can tell if you are eating too much protein that feeds protein-fermenting bacteria like Alistipes putredinis and Tannerella forsythia. We can also see if your microbiome is producing harmful substances such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, p-cresol, or putrescine. These substances can damage your gut lining and lead to health issues like leaky gut.

4. Your Microbiome Can Reveal If You’re Depressed 

Your gut and brain are connected via the vagus nerve. A large majority of neurotransmitters are either produced or consumed by your microbiome. In fact, some 90 percent of all serotonin (a feel-good neurotransmitter) is produced by your gut microbiome and not by your brain.

We can analyze if your microbiome is producing harmful gases like hydrogen sulfide, which causes the lining of your gut to start to deteriorate, resulting in leaky gut. Leaky gut has also been identified as a potential source of depression and higher levels of anxiety, in addition to many other chronic diseases.

If you want to get the most out of your meditation and reduce your stress levels, make sure you are eating the right foods for your microbiome by ordering a Viome Gut Test.

5. Carbs Can Be Protein Precursors

As long as your microbiome is up to the task, carbs may not be as bad as you thought. We can see if your microbiome is metabolizing some of the starches you are eating and converting them into amino acids that are precursors to protein. Think about it for a second. Your microbiome can convert carbs into amino acids that are precursors to building protein. The microbiome is excellent at adapting and pivoting based on the food you feed it and its environment.

The Bottom Line

Your microbiome is part best friend, part power converter, part engine, and part pharmacist. Given the research emerging daily about the microbiome and its importance on your quality of life, prioritizing the health of your microbiome is essential.

At Viome, we are continuously working to better understand these microbial functions so that we can provide you with more valuable insight and give you the tools to take control of your own health. We recommend a list of personalized foods and supplements to keep these internal complex machineries in a finely-tuned balance. Get to know yourself in a way you never thought possible.

No more fad diets. No more guesswork. Discover what your gut has been trying to tell you with Viome.

Learn more at | @MyViome

Naveen Jain, CEO, Viome, [email protected]

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