Microbiome testing is a growing trend in the healthcare industry, but what to know about microbiome testing and how accurate is it? The answer depends on your specific needs and medical history. Guts UK, for example, states that commercial stool testing is not very accurate because the bacteria that make up your stools may change from sample to sample. In addition, some bacteria are dead, while others are still living on your gut wall. Regardless of the reason, there are several benefits of microbiome testing.
At-Home microbiome testing
At-Home microbiome testing is becoming more common, thanks to the popularity of personalized medicine and a growing interest in health. Several companies are offering such tests. Most gut tests, for example, are simple and painless tests requiring the user to provide stool or blood samples. These samples are then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Results will be interpreted according to the presence of microbes and their gene activity patterns. These microbes inhabit the human body so the test will give you information about the microbiome.
The cost of microbiome testing is largely determined by the companies that do the tests. These companies use different methods and genomic libraries to analyze samples. These libraries contain fragments of DNA from the different types of microorganisms in our gut. They use this information to compare the samples with their respective libraries. Once they have compared the samples with the databases, they can determine which types of bacteria and viruses are living in our guts.
A microbiome test can vary from under $100 to nearly $400. Some companies have subscription plans, while others charge a flat fee for one test. Some insurance plans even cover some or all of the cost. While the benefits of gut microbiome testing are well documented, marketers often exaggerate them. Additionally, there is no single, set reference range, unlike blood tests, which measure vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes.
The cost of gut microbiome testing varies, as different companies use slightly different methods. For example, one company may use metatranscriptomic analysis to identify every living gut microorganism at the species and strain level. In addition to identifying microorganisms, a test may also measure metabolites produced by each type. The testing companies may also suggest specific dietary supplements based on the test results.
Microbiome testing is an excellent method to identify the bacterial community in the human body. Those with increased bacterial diversity are at a higher risk of developing certain diseases. Taking probiotics to balance the inner ecosystem of the gut can reduce the risk of these conditions and other illnesses. This kind of dietary modification can also prevent the onset of psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, Type II diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
Researchers are rapidly advancing in understanding the human microbiome and linking it to specific diseases. They've identified hundreds of common intestinal microbes and begun to tie some of these organisms to certain symptoms. However, it's important to remember that correlation doesn't equate to causation. Just because two things are related doesn't mean they caused each other. However, if these findings are consistent with the symptoms of a disease, then microbiome testing may be a valuable diagnostic tool in the future.