A while back, I sent a sample of my poo to a US lab called uBiome.
I was curious to know more about the trillions of bugs living in my gut (aka the gut microbiome).
You might wonder why I care so much about those little critters that I am willing to send a sample of my poo across the globe?
Science is discovering new connections between the gut microbiome and health every single week.
From digestive issues, to anxiety and depression, weight loss and Alzheimer, almost every diseases out there have been associated with a less than optimal microbiome.
What’s more…. I knew that I had a few of the worst risk factors for having a poor balance of bacteria in my gut.
My #1 risk factor: ANTIBIOTICS.
I took a lot of antibiotics when I was a teenager. One of them I took for a whole year… for acne! The others for recurrent UTI… 3 courses in less than a few months ;-( .
Antibiotics are definitely one of the worst offenders for destroying gut bacteria, even just 1 course can do serious damage. I have also taken a lot of herbal anti-microbials for SIBO treatment, and although natural is better, many of them still affect your good bacteria.
But there are quite a few more events in my life that points to a very dysfunctional microbiome… here are just a few:
- I was born by C-Section
- I was not breastfed
- I had loads of ear infections as a kid
How happy are YOUR gut bacteria? Take this quiz to find out.
So to make a long story somewhat shorter… I really wanted to know if I had some work to do to restore my microbiome, knowing how essential it is for long term health, and happiness.
I’m not going to share the full analysis here, but just a few interesting things about my results.
Things I’m proud off:
- I have a very high diversity score (94th percentile), which is one way to tell that you have a pretty healthy ecosystem. A low diversity score is a good predictor of poor health.
- Good % of Akkermansia ( known to combat weight gain and inflammation): I have a very healthy level of 3%. According to Dr Jason Hawrelak, more than 1 to 3% is desirable.
Things to work on:
- Very low bifidobacteria. One of the most researched of the ‘beneficial bacteria’, they do so much good for us that I definitely want more of those. Luckily, I do have a tiny amount in my stool… which means that if I feed them with their favorite foods, they will hopefully grow to healthier levels, and start doing all sorts of good things for me, like helping digest my food, producing B vitamins, healing my gut lining, etc.
I’m going to increase my consumption of food known to feed the population of bifidobacteria, like green tea (learn more about the benefits of green tea), raw cacao and lots of colourful fruits and vegetables. I’m also using a prebiotic supplement. Learn more about prebiotics.
HOW TO GET YOURS TESTED
My favourite lab at this point is Ubiome. I recommended getting the Explorer Kit, which is affordable and gives plenty of information.