Cutting-edge testing service zeroes in on ‘fiber loving bacteria’ in the gut, enabling consumers to track the effects of dietary changes
More than 90% of Americans don't eat enough fiber—but the potentially disastrous consequences for long-term health remain invisible. That's set to change with a new tool from consumer biotechnology start-up Carbiotix: the company today announced the release of LoveGut™, the world’s first low-cost home gut microbiome test. The new monthly subscription service offered in the US provides microbiome analysis starting at just $9 per sample.
Numerous studies show the health benefits that accrue from a choice collection of bacteria in the colon—dubbed "fiber loving bacteria"—that normally grow in response to dietary fiber, producing beneficial short-chain fatty acids. LoveGut™ provides an easy-to-understand index of these bacteria, giving consumers an affordable method of tracking how many they have and allowing them to adjust their diets based on the results.
Home microbiome tests have been on the market for about five years and currently range in price from $80 to over $300 per sample. As scientific evidence for the importance of the gut microbiome in overall health continues to accumulate, customers interested in gut microbiome testing have largely been deterred by high prices, variable and unreliable results, and a lack of clarity about what the results mean. Furthermore, scientists maintain a one-time ‘snapshot’ of gut bacteria reveals very little about health. But by tracking the rise and fall of the fiber loving bacteria associated with health, the Carbiotix test offers a low-cost and reliable index for monitoring personalized gut microbiome changes over time.
When someone makes a dietary change—whether it's eating more vegetables or starting a prebiotic supplement—they previously had no practical option for finding out the immediate effects on their body,” says Carbiotix CEO, Kristofer Cook. “Now customers can see for themselves how a change in their intake of fiber is affecting their fiber loving bacteria, with possible implications for their health."
"The low cost of our testing service allows people to set gut health goals and track their own progress. This is a major step forward in empowering consumers to personalize their diets for better health,” says Cook.
The cutting-edge technology used by Carbiotix is a patent pending methodology developed through the department of biotechnology at Lund University; validation of the identified biomarkers for gut health is currently underway by the US-based Zymo Research, a leader in tools used for DNA and RNA research and analysis. To achieve the low cost of the testing service, Carbiotix uses in-house laboratory resources and optimizes all aspects of the supply chain, kit assembly, logistics, and laboratory analysis. Consumers can sign up and access their results by visiting Carbiotix.com
The release of the stand-alone LoveGut™ service follows the recent launch of PersonalGut™>, a personalized soluble fiber supplement subscription program.
The LoveGutTM home gut microbiome test is available from March of 2017 at https://carbiotix.com/love-gut.