How Do Our Top Recommended Tests Compare
There are many at-home microbiome tests on the market, with new ones coming out frequently. Our research team has tested, evaluated, and compared all well-known tests including Viome, Wellnicity, BIOHM, Psomagen, Ombre , Sun Genomics , and more to arrive at our recommended favorites. Our top 3 picks include:
What Is The Probiotic Milk Test
The test is designed to demonstrate the ability for certain probiotic bacteria to create lactic acid which curdles the proteins in the milk.
The bacteria that are typically used in yogurt production are usually
Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
The thinking is that only live probiotics would be able to ferment lactose, a sugar found in milk, to lactic acid2. Therefore, seeing curdled milk would be a positive sign for probiotic activity.
Why Is Homemade Yogurt Healthier Than Store
The yogurt you make at home is healthier for your family because you control what mix-ins you use and because of how long it ferments. In our house, we make 24-hour probiotic yogurtwhich is yogurt that ferments for a full day. Many store-bought yogurts are fermented for only a couple of hours, and some as few as 30 minutes! Why do you want a long ferment time on your yogurt? Well, Im glad you asked:
- Probiotic yogurt is virtually lactose-free! Twenty-four hours is the magical spot where the beneficial bacteria from your yogurt starter culture have gobbled up almost all of the lactose in the milkleaving you with yogurt that is nearly lactose-free and much easier to digest.
- Its packed with more beneficial bacteria than most probiotic pills. A single cup of 24-hour fermented probiotic yogurt has 700 billion CFUs of good bacteria! Go ahead and check your probiotics bottleIm going to guess its nowhere near that 700 billion mark.
- Its thick, tangy, delicious, and versatile! The long fermentation time gives the yogurt a Greek yogurt-style tart and tangy flavor and thick texture, which makes it perfect for both sweet and savory uses.
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Can Probiotics Improve Your Mood
By now, we know that a healthy diet is important for physical well-being. Researchers are studying whether probiotics live bacteria that are safe to eat can improve gastrointestinal health and your mood.
Probiotics are what we believe to be good organisms that are beneficial to our health. But do they work?
Benefit No : Yogurt May Help You Feel Fuller
A study from the University of Washington in Seattle tested hunger, fullness, and calories eaten at the next meal on 16 men and 16 women who had a 200-calorie snack. The snack was either:
- Semisolid yogurt containing pieces of peach and eaten with a spoon
- The same yogurt in drinkable form
- A peach-flavored dairy beverage
Although those who had the yogurt snacks did not eat fewer calories at the next meal, both types of yogurt resulted in lower hunger ratings and higher fullness ratings than either of the other snacks.
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Heres How The Test Works:
How Can You Tell If Probiotics Are Alive And Active
Our gastrointestinal tract is home to trillions of microbes. A balanced microbiome helps keep us healthy, energetic, and in a good mood.
Probiotics contain a combination of live beneficial microorganisms that provide physiological benefits to our health. Primarily, these are good bacteria that are naturally occurring in fermented foods.
While probiotics are present in a variety of foods, they are also commonly consumed as a dietary supplement. If youve purchased a probioitic supplement, you might be wondering, How do I know if my probiotics are still alive and active?
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Choose Reliable Probiotic Brands
Some companies have been around for years, and you may know their names. Those that have made probiotics for a while may be more likely to have tested and studied them over and over. It’s smarter to choose a product from a reputable maker. Check a third-party certifier to see if they have tested the product and found that itâs safe and reliable. If you’re in doubt, ask your doctor.
Is Your Probiotic Pill Worthless A Simple Test To Find Out At Home
When I attended the Natural Products Expo this year I noticed that there were dozens of newly launched products that were fortified with probiotics they were everywhere! There is no disputing that probiotics are good for you, but I have to question the viability of the probiotics in these products and whether they are any better than eating naturally fermented foods. I try to add fermented foods to my diet often and I eat them almost every day because Ive found them to be the best way to feed my body probiotics.
This is essential because most of our food has been pasteurized, irradiated, or chemically treated to kill bugs but this also kills the good stuff. Our soil is depleted of good bacteria with the overuse of synthetic pesticides and other chemical contamination. Certain substances in our food have also been suspected to cause leaky gut syndrome which creates tiny little holes in our digestive system organs that leak out the good bacteria we need to stay healthy and keep our immune system strong.
This is why we absolutely must do everything to restore the good bacteria in our guts. Historically, food was often preserved with fermentation and traditional diets often consisted of raw and fermented foods that contained a healthy dose of good bacteria. The fermentation process creates good bacteria that work like a little army in your gut helping to defend you from various ailments.
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Greek Yogurt Nutrition Information
The vast majority of commercial yogurt products youll find sold in supermarkets are very sweet. If youre looking to reap the health benefits of yogurt, stay away from products with added sugars and opt for more natural products, like Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt has a variety of nutrients and is generally considered one of the healthiest types of yogurt you can buy. In every 100 grams of Greek yogurt, you can find:
- 8 percent of the daily value for calcium
- 11 percent of the DV for phosphorus
- 18 percent of the DV for selenium
- 5 percent of the DV for zinc
- 21 percent of the DV for vitamin B2
- 7 percent of the DV for vitamin B5
- 31 percent of the DV for vitamin B12
Greek yogurt has 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of carbohydrates, none of which come from fiber. It also has 5 grams of fat, half of which come from saturated fat.
Best For Leaky Gut: Verisana Leaky Gut Complete
Leaky gut, or increased intestinal permeability, is a condition in which gaps in the intestinal wall allow bacteria and other toxins to pass into the bloodstream. Researchers note that diet and stress can increase a persons likelihood of developing leaky gut.
Verisana claims that this test examines a persons stool for the following:
- Candida and mold
- bacterial imbalances in the intestines
- gut mucosal immunology
The analysis that Verisana provides compares a persons test results with those of others in their age range. The company recommends that people interpret their results with the help of a healthcare professional.
The Verisana Leaky Gut Complete test is available for $249.95.
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Full Body Intelligence Test
Viomes most comprehensive test is their Full Body Intelligence Test, which takes all the insights youd gain from their other tests and adds oral, cognitive, and cardiometabolic health to the picture. They do this with a simple saliva sample added to the stool and blood youd give with their other kits.
At first glance, it might seem odd that your spit could tell you that much about your brain or your heart, but several studies back this up. One looks closely at a specific pathway known as the oral microbiome brain axis . The OMBA modulates things like cranial inflammation and other physical aspects of your brain that can positively or negatively affect cognition. And another study defines a link between the balance of microbes in your mouth and your likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
These insights help them tailor supplements to go along with your pre- and probiotics if you subscribe to them.
Like the Gut Intelligence Test, the Full Body Intelligence Test is available as part of a subscription plan. Viomes Complete Plan includes yearly testing with the Full Body Intelligence Test, custom-tailored prebiotics and probiotics, and custom supplements for $179 per month.
Keep Your Ratios Consistent
It can be tempting to add more starter culture to your batches to hasten ferment time. Dont do it! Adding too much of your previous culture can lead to bitter and grainy yogurt.
The same applies to not adding enough culture. The yogurt will not ferment correctly or may cease to ferment and you could lose your culture.
If you notice that your culture has weakened, you can try adding more yogurt starter the next batch but then revert back to the correct ratio of one tablespoon per cup of milk.
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Does Greek Yogurt Contain Probiotics
The short answer is yes. The only difference between Greek yogurt and other types of yogurt is that it is strained, giving it a thicker consistency.
As with all other types of yogurt, however, it must contain at least 1 billion live bacterial cultures that have been added during manufacturing in order to be approved by Health Canada.
The straining process does typically increase the protein content of the yogurt, so if youre looking for ways to add more protein into your diet, probiotic Greek yogurt is a great option for you.
Possible Side Effects Of Taking Prebiotics
During initial use, a probiotic supplement may lead to side effects related to digestion. This includes gas, burping, and even mild abdominal discomfort.
Once your body adjusts to the new environment, your digestive system begins to improve.
In people having a weak immune system with health conditions like HIV, AIDS, probiotics can result in hazardous infections.
Moreover, for people with health conditions, consulting with a medical expert is very crucial.
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How Can You Tell If A Probiotic Is Working
When you take a high-quality probioticsupplement, you may notice a number of positive changes in your body, ranging from improved digestion and more energy, to improved mood and clearer skin. The first and most immediate change youll notice is a reduction in gas and bloating. These are all signs that your probiotics are working.
How to Take a High-Quality ProbioticSupplement The best way to make sure youre getting the most out of your supplements is to take them at the right time of day. This is especially important if youve been taking supplements for longer than a few weeks. If you dont take your supplement in the morning, it may take longer for the benefits to kick in.
To help you get the best results, here are some tips on how to choose a supplement thats right for you: Choose a product that has been tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . This means that the product has undergone rigorous testing to ensure that its safe and effective. You can find out more about the FDAs approval process by visiting www.fda.gov/Food/Drugs/BiologicsRegulatoryInformation/ucm16097.
How Long Can Probiotics Stay Unrefrigerated
Although they should be refrigerated, they do not oxidize quickly at room temperature. Depending on how well they are stored, they may be left at room temperature for days or even weeks.
If you are concerned about the health of your probiotic, it is a good idea to store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and direct heat.
If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to consider using a humidifier to help keep the bacteria in check.
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Best For Comprehensive Testing: Zoe
This test uses stool and blood samples to measure gut health, blood sugar levels, and blood fat.
The company states that it uses whole DNA sequencing to identify good and bad microbes in the GI tract.
People must provide stool and blood samples and send the test off to ZOE. The company will provide results after 6 weeks. People can use the companys companion app to keep track of their test results and get personalized advice on dietary adjustments.
ZOE is currently available to those who reside in the contiguous United States, apart from people in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, where state regulations mean that the program cannot run there.
The company offers microbiome testing, blood sugar testing, and personalized advice from ZOE coaches. The test kit costs $294 but a person can choose to pay for this in six $49 monthly installments. People can then choose from three ZOE membership lengths:
- ZOE 1-month membership: $59 per month
- ZOE 4-month membership: $39 per month
- ZOE 12-month membership: $29 per month
Should You Take A Probiotic Every Day
Yes, if you’d like to take a probiotic, you should take the probiotic supplement every day to obtain the maximum benefits. Supplement guidelines vary, so read the label to double-check the instructions for your product. Check if the company suggests taking the supplement with food or water or on an empty stomach and how many capsules are in a recommended dose.
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Can You Eat Expired Yogurt
If you get freaked out by expired food, know this: With the exception of baby formula, federal law doesnt require that food products have dates on them that say how long theyre good for.
Oh, and the date on your yogurt isnt ~technically~ an expiration date. Usually, its actually a best by date.
A lot of this comes down to qualitynot safety issues, says food safety specialist Benjamin Chapman, PhD, a professor at North Carolina State University. Basically, the date stamped on your yogurt just lets you know when the yogurt company thinks the product will be at its peak flavor.
So, yogurt with a best by date thats come and gone isnt technically expiredand it is 100 percent okay to eat yogurt beyond this date. Its really only going to get more acidic and ferment more over time in your refrigerator, Chapman says. All thats going to happen to the flavor is that it will get tangier.
What Is A Gut Microbiome
A gut microbiome refers to the microbes that exist in your digestive system. The intestines, stomach, colon, and esophagus are all important members of your GI tract, and they all contain microbes that affect the digestion process.
Microbes include both healthy and harmful strains of bacteria, as well as fungi and viruses. Collectively, these microscopic organisms are referred to as gut microbiota or flora. In addition to helping with digestion, your microbiome also plays a key role in your immune system.
Other perhaps less obvious impacts of a gut microbiome imbalance may be:
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Learning About The Microbiome
The community of microorganisms that lives on us and in us is called the âmicrobiome,â and itâs a hot topic for research. The Human Microbiome Project, supported by the National Institutes of Health from 2007 to 2016, played a key role in this research by mapping the normal bacteria that live in and on the healthy human body. With this understanding of a normal microbiome as the basis, researchers around the world, including many supported by NIH, are now exploring the links between changes in the microbiome and various diseases. Theyâre also developing new therapeutic approaches designed to modify the microbiome to treat disease and support health.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is among the many agencies funding research on the microbiome. Researchers supported by NCCIH are studying the interactions between components of food and microorganisms in the digestive tract. The focus is on the ways in which diet-microbiome interactions may lead to the production of substances with beneficial health effects.
What Will A Gut Microbiome Test Tell Me
The information given in a gut health test report can differ slightly, depending on the testing company used, but in general test results are broken down into sections, analysing the levels of specific bacterial communities found in the sample. Depending on the specific test used microbes are usually either grouped by phyla, genera, or species, but rarely by strain. To understand more about how bacteria are classified, and the relevance of their classification, you may like to read our page: What are probiotics?
Stool tests are sometimes recommended by doctors and conducted by the NHS in the UK however, these are typically used to screen for certain pathologies, such as inflammatory bowel disease or bowel cancers, or to confirm the presence of specific bacteria or parasites in cases of infection. Private gut health tests tend to provide a more comprehensive overview of the microbes present in the stool. These more comprehensive test results can indicate whether or not the stool donor has a healthy gut microbiome, which contributes towards many aspects of health, including: balancing inflammation levels, aiding proper digestion, synthesising certain vitamins, and producing short chain fatty acids from indigestible fibre.
Health professionals can read more about SCFAs in Dr. Aislings article: The uses of prebiotics.
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