Your gut biome may play a crucial role in regulating and establishing your health. The gut microorganisms include bacteria, fungi, and archaea, and these are collectively known as the microbiome. Though microbiomes are found throughout the body, they’re mostly concentrated in the gastrointestinal tract or the gut.
Microbiomes are known for their role in synthesizing vitamins and amino acids that contribute to a healthy immune system, improved metabolism, and is critical for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Because of the several benefits of the gut biome, microbiome testing is gaining popularity. With the help of a testing kit, you can access your gut biome’s makeup, thus helping you improve your health.
In this article, we’ll discuss what are gut biome tests and are accurate?
What Are Gut Biome Tests?
A gut biome test helps identify the different types of bacteria found in the gut by analyzing fecal samples. The test gives you information about the gut microbiome’s richness and diversity, directly related to your gut health. However, the gut tests are a snapshot of a particular moment and don’t give an entire picture of your gut ecosystem. Therefore, a gut test can only tell you what’s coming out of your body and not what’s inside it.
However, with a gut biome test, you will get information about your gut microbiome’s richness and diversity. These tests may be ideal for those who want to know about their GI tract’s health or those with microbiome imbalances.
Constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, trouble digesting foods, and fatigue are common symptoms of an imbalance in the gastrointestinal tract. A biome test can help you determine if your gut is healthy.
However, if you have these symptoms, it’s best to consult your doctor and guide you on taking the biome test.
Are Gut Biome Tests Accurate?
Most companies ask for a stool sample test to test your gut biome, which you send to the lab for testing result analysis; these tests may not be completely accurate since they tell you what’s coming out of your gut than what’s inside it.
As your microbiome composition can vary up to 60% throughout the day and the morning and evening results may differ drastically, the stool test may not be an accurate representation of your gut health.
Gut microbiome diversity can be seen more in a biopsy than a stool sample test. It is noted that an entirely different set of microbes can appear more dominant in your stool than there is in your gut. A biome gut test may also not accurately tell you if you have parasites in your gut since most parasites die soon after they leave their host.
Since different testing methods may lead to other test results, this is also an essential factor that leads to the test results’ inaccuracy.
Different companies may have other methods of collecting, transported, stored, and analyzed. Thus, the taking and handling of tests and interpreting the test results may be more complicated and trickier.
Since the companies differ on how they conduct and interpret test results. Most often, alongside your products, the companies may explain the types of research, limitation of evidence, and the caution that these test results should not be taken as medical evidence.
Keeping Your Gut Healthy
While gut biome tests may not be accurate, it’s helpful to focus on building a healthy and diverse gut biome. Below, we look at some of the ways to improve your gut biome.
Keep Your Gastrointestinal Tract Clean
The GI tract helps your body remove metabolic waste and dangerous chemicals. When you’re constipated, the microbiomes in your gut are imbalanced and further lead to disease. Thus, treating constipation can help drain your GI regularly.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
You need fiber to keep your gut biome happy. When there’s not enough fiber, your gut biomes may become imbalanced, and your health may suffer. Eating well and including various fruits and vegetables will lead to more fiber for the body and better gut health.
Eat Fermented Foods
By eating fermented foods, you’ll be giving your GI tract the fiber it needs. Adding foods like kimchi and yogurt can increase your microbiome diversity and improve your gut health.
Gut biomes play an essential role in your health and contribute immensely to your immune system. A healthy gut is an indication of good health. While many people may be going for gut biome tests to know how healthy their gut is, experts suggest that these tests may not be accurate and may not give a complete picture of your gut. However, they’re still helpful in knowing the general health of your gut.