Are tomatoes healthy? Avocados? Nuts? According to Viome, a health tech company, there is no such thing as a universally-healthy food: What’s healthy for one person can be inflammatory for another.
With the rise of chronic disease worldwide, it was clear to company founder Naveen Jain that disease was a problem worth tackling through prevention. He assembled a team of scientists to launch a company that can analyze your gut to understand what is causing inflammation, which is the root cause of many chronic illnesses—as well as symptoms like bloating, sleeplessness, skin problems, stomach troubles, a lack of energy, sore joints, and more.
Viome can identify—from a home test kit—what is actually happening in your body and what foods and supplements you need to help you function at peak performance.
The company uses a high-resolution technology called meta-transcriptome sequencing to identify all the microorganisms living in your gut, from bacteria and viruses to fungi, yeast, parasites and bacteriophages. With this data, Viome recommends which foods and supplements can help you to reach optimal microbial function.
9 surprising discoveries Viome has uncovered…
1. “Healthy” Food Isn’t Always Healthy for Everyone
You might have been advised to eat your greens, and that greens and nuts are anti-inflammatory. The data shows this isn’t always true.
Spinach, bran, rhubarb, beets, nuts and nut butters all contain Oxalates. We now know that Oxalate-containing food can be harmful, unless you have the microbes present that can metabolize it into a non-harmful substance. 30% of the 5300,000 Viome customers analyzed so far actually lack the microbes to metabolize oxalates properly. In other words, “healthy foods” like spinach are actually not healthy for these people.
2. Are You Eating Too Much Protein?
Paleo, Keto, and high-performance diets include a lot of protein which helps build muscle and provide energy, but if some people eat too much, it can cause inflammation and decrease longevity.
Viome analyzes your microbiome to determine whether you are eating too much protein that feeds protein-fermenting bacteria like Alistipes putredinis and Tanneralla forsythia, and whether these organisms are producing harmful substances such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, p-cresol, or putrescine, which can damage your gut lining.
3. Can “Healthy Foods” Exacerbate Heart Disease?
Choline in certain foods can get converted by bacteria into trimethylamine (TMA), which is associated with heart disease when it gets absorbed into your body and converted to TMAO. TMA conversion doesn’t happen in individuals unless they have the appropriate bacteria in their microbiome. Again, Viome can see the TMA production, and many of the gamma-proteobacteria that do this conversion.
What foods contain choline? Liver, salmon, chickpeas, split peas, eggs, navy beans, and peanuts are a small sample. Before you decide to go full-on pescatarian or paleo, you may want to check if your microbiome is producing TMA with that salmon or steak.
4. Too Much Iron Can Cause Inflammation
Minerals like iron in your food can, in certain inflammatory microbial environments, promote growth of pathogens like Esherichia, Shigella, and Salmonella. On the other hand, when you don’t get enough iron, you could become anemic, leading to weakness and shortness of breath. Data from Viome can reveal if you should be staying away from these iron-rich foods.
5. Stress and Anxiety Appear in Your Microbiome
Our gut and brain are connected via the vagus nerve. A large majority of neurotransmitters are also interconnected with our microbiome. Surprisingly, 90% of all serotonin (a feel-good neurotransmitter) is produced by your gut microbiome, not by your brain.
When you have a maladjusted microbiome that’s producing a large amount of toxins like hydrogen sulfide, the lining of your gut starts to deteriorate into what’s known as ‘leaky gut’. This causes low-grade chronic inflammation, which has been identified as a potential source of depression or higher levels of anxiety, in addition to many other chronic diseases.
6. Want More Energy, Get Your Microbiome Back into Balance
The microbiome is responsible for calorie extraction, which creates energy, through pathways such as the Tricarboxylic acid cycle. Our bodies depend on the energy that our gut produces.
Efficient high-performing microbiomes are excellent for athletes who need extra energy, but suboptimal for those with sedentary lifestyles. And if the microbes can’t or won’t metabolize the glucose (sugar) that you eat, it will be stored as fat.
7. Have Joint Pain? Your Microbiome Can Tell You Why
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a pro-inflammatory molecule made by some of your microbes. Too much LPS can wreak havoc on your immune system and put it into overdrive. When your immune system is overactive, your joints and other body parts often suffer collateral damage from inflammation.
Your microbiome may be making you feel older because it keeps giving warnings to your immune system, ultimately leading to chronic pain. If you have a condition ending in “-itis,” it’s possible that when you balance your microbiome, the inflammation from your “-itis” will be reduced.
8. The Link Between Low Stomach Acid and Chronic Disease
The acid in your stomach protects you from the bacteria in your mouth and the parasites and fungi in your food. When you have low stomach acid, bacteria from your mouth makes it down to your GI tract, an invasion associated with autoimmune disease and inflammation.
We’re beginning to learn that low stomach acid is perhaps one of the major causes of chronic disease. What kinds of things cause low stomach acid? Stress and antacids like Nexium and Prilosec.
9. Carbs Can Be Protein Precursors and Are Not as Bad as You May Think
As long as your microbiome is up to the task, carbs aren’t bad. The key is whether your microbiome can transform the starches you eat into amino acids. Your microbiome comprises 20% of your Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), and it will adapt to make these vital BCAAs in almost any way it can, based on your diet.
How to get your gut analyzed
Prioritizing the health of your microbiome is essential. And Viome can help you get started to restore your gut microbiome and overall health. Their RNA-based testing provides you with accurate results on what food or supplements you need for optimal health.
The Gut Intelligence Test (a stool sample home test w/ analysis) normally costs $259—but GNN readers can take a discount of $110 off with code GNN, reducing your cost to $149. The test includes analysis and recommendations for supporting your gut health and bringing your gut microbiome back into balance.
If you would like more comprehensive analysis and recommendations, you can get their Full Body Intelligence test, which analyzes your blood and saliva, in addition to your stool to give you the most accurate recommendations to support your overall health.
[New Yorkers PLEASE NOTE: Viome only ships Gut Test products to New York state at this time.]
For $289 (when using discount code GNN), the Full Body Intelligence Test provides analysis on the following areas of your health—in addition to your gut health:
- Cellular & Energy Efficiency
- Inflammation Response
- Immune System Health
- Oral Health
- Brain & Cognitive Health
- Heart & Cardiometabolic Health
- Biological Age
These more comprehensive tests answer key questions like:
• Are your cells performing efficiently or undergoing stress from oxidative stress, inflammation, or environmental toxins?
• Is your immune system prepared for invading bacteria or viruses?
• Does your biological age match your chronological age?
Learn more at Viome.com – and don’t forget to use the discount code GNN to save $110 on any Viome Intelligence Test.
Check out their compelling testimonials below—and read more reviews, here.
“I’ve lost 13 pounds, my acne is gone (I’m 41), I don’t belch after each meal, my bloating is gone, I don’t have daily headaches, I feel better, I have more energy, I’m not ravenous all the time… the list could go on and on… I can’t thank you all enough!” – Emily, Viome Customer
“I’m down 20 pounds since switching to “Viome Approved” foods. More energy. Thinking Clearly. And I’ve had some big bumps on my face and skin that my doctor called “aging” and I should get used to it – has almost completely disappeared.” – Chip, Viome Customer
“I took my first test in June and retested in January. I’ve noticed my overall health has changed dramatically. My finger nails now grow, I can now comfortably eat/drink dairy products when before I would’ve sworn I was lactose intolerant. And I lost 23lbs that had haunted me for close to ten years!” – Suzanna, Viome Customer
(Any purchase at Viome using the discount code will also benefit GNN with a commission.)