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Gut Microbiome Composition
Every living organism produces RNA molecules from their DNA. By sequencing all of the RNA in the samples we receive, we can identify and quantify all of the living microorganisms in the gut (bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, archaea, fungi, yeast, parasites, and more) at the species and strain level. The end result? A higher resolution view of your gut microbiome than has ever been available before.
Gut Microbiome Gene Expression
While identifying the microorganisms in the gut is important, we gain the most insight when we can also understand their function. This is because the microbes in the gut produce thousands of chemicals, called metabolites, that affect your overall wellness. Some of these microbial metabolites can be beneficial to our health, such as vitamin B and short chain fatty acids, while others can be detrimental, such as TMAO, which causes coronary artery disease.
By analyzing the genes that microbes express, we can identify which metabolites they produce – in other words, we can determine their role in your body’s ecosystem. By following Viome’s diet and lifestyle recommendations, a person can fine-tune the function of their gut microbiome to minimize production of harmful metabolites and maximize the production of beneficial ones.
The Viome Advantage.
What is the difference between Viome and other gut microbiome companies?
Viome is the only company whose gut microbiome test can be used to accurately make personalized diet and nutrition recommendations. The reason is our unique technology, which no other direct-to-consumer company possesses or offers. Most microbes in your gut can produce molecules that benefit you, harm you, or have no impact on your health. The only genomic tests that have the ability to see which molecules your microbes are actually producing use metatranscriptomic analysis.
The table below compares the three most common types of gut microbiome tests.
16S Sequencing 1
Metagenomic analysis 2
Viome Metatranscriptome Sequencing
|Identifies only a fraction of your gut bacteria; unable to identify nonbacterial microorganisms||Cannot identify any RNA viruses or RNA bacteriophages||
Identifies allmicroorganisms living in your gut: bacteria, viruses, archaea, yeast, fungi, parasites and bacteriophages 3
|Sequences DNA, which can come from food and dead microorganisms||Sequences DNA, which can come from food and dead microorganisms||
Sequences RNA, which comes from live microorganisms that have a great impact on our health
|Low resolution (mostly genus and lower resolution)||High resolution (species and strain level), but does not include RNA viruses||
High resolution (species and strains) of all microorganisms
|Unreliable; sequencing the same sample twice can yield very different results||
Minimal variation in results, but partially biased analysis (no RNA viruses)
Minimal variation in results and unbiased analysis
|Does not measure microbial gene functions||Does not measure microbial gene functions||
Quantifies expression levels of active microbial gene functions
|Does not assess what the microbes are doing Low resolution and lack of gene expression data preclude actionable recommendations||Does not assess what the microbes are doing Lack of gene expression data preclude actionable recommendations||
Allows assessment of pathway activities that can lead to personalized health insights and recommendations with molecular-level precision based on what the microbes are doing
1Used by uBiome, American Gut Project and others.
2Used by uBiome (ExplorerPlus kit), DayTwo and others.
3We now understand that many common chronic diseases are associated with the presence of non-bacterial species in the gut.
4After sending duplicate stool samples to American Gut and uBiome, a journalist found that her results from the two companies were completely different.
How can Viome's metatranscriptome technology improve wellness?
- Increase microbial species associated with overall wellness
- Minimize microbial species associated with poor health
- Increase the diversity of your microbiome
- Stimulate production of beneficial metabolites
- Minimize production of metabolites associated with poor health
- Identify prebiotics that can induce growth of beneficial microbes and metabolites
- Identify the ideal ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats for your diet
- Identify foods that are most compatible with your metabolism
- Recommend a diet to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Recommend a diet that will increase your energy, focus and well-being
- Optimize your digestion and absorption
- Introduce beneficial (but missing) bacteria with probiotics