FLB background information

What is the FLB?

The Fiber Loving Bacteria (FLB) index helps you find your own optimal level of fiber loving bacteria by showing the impact of increased soluble fiber (prebiotic) and even probiotic consumption on key biomarkers for gut health. The purpose of the FLB is not to provide a detailed snapshot of your gut microbiome, but rather monitor the level of good probiotic bacteria over time, since a snapshot provides little insights regarding gut health stability over a longer period of time or can address sampling and outlier errors common with at-home gut health tests.

FLB zones

Captive zone - (dark blue)

In this zone, the number of fiber loving bacteria is below a threshold that is normal for a healthy gut flora.

Sub-optimal zone - (light blue)

In this zone, the balance between different fiber loving bacteria is not optimal.

Optimal zone - (green)

In this zone, your number of fiber loving bacteria is in a normal range and there is a good balance between them. The goal here is to find your own personal level and balance and keep this stable over time. This will ensure a more resistant, resilient and healthier gut flora. Please remember not measure success based on how high the FLB index is in the optimal zone, as stability of the FLB index is more important than the level of the index. This reflects the fact that everyone’s gut microbiome is unique and that gut health is a personal journey.

FLB rules

Everyone has a unique number of fiber loving bacteria normally ranging from 10% up to 50% of their gut bacteria flora. A low number of fiber loving bacteria below a certain threshold can be indicative of gut health problems. A stable FLB index over time is considered better than an unstable one.

FLB goals

Finding your own optimal level of fiber loving bacteria by primarily filling your fiber gap and keeping this level stable over time to have a more resistant and resilient gut flora.

FLB Patterns

Since everyone has a unique gut microbiome, people react differently to an increase in fiber. What we have seen thus far is that people usually follow three basic patterns.

  1. An increase in the FLB index the first month due to a quick adaptation to more fiber
  2. An initial decrease in the FLB index for 1-3 plus months followed by an increase due to a slow adaptation to more fiber
  3. A stable FLB index up to 4-6 months followed by an increase due to a very slow adaptation to more fiber

Possible reasons for FLB fluctuation

  • A major diet or lifestyle change
  • Antibiotic use
  • Sampling error
  • An unstable flora

As stated in point 5, you may also experience an initial drop in your FLB index when starting with Carbiotix personalized fiber. Do not panic, this is completely normal since you are finding your own optimal FLB level. One should however note that a highly variable flora can be indicative of gut health problems needing further investigation.

Why care?

There is a growing body of research supporting a strong correlation between gut health and beneficial human health effects. These include digestive balance, improved athleticism, weight control, a healthy immune system, blood sugar management, healthy cholesterol levels, better mineral absorption, and a reduced risk of developing a list of different chronic diseases.

FLB Tips

Since the latest research suggests that your gut health impacts and is impacted by diet and lifestyles choices, please remember to follow the simple 3 up 3 down rule. Up - eat more nutritious foods in smaller quantities, exercise 3-5 hours a week (cardiovascular and strength training) and get enough sleep to meet your needs. Down – reduce your consumption of alcohol, limit smoking, and avoid stress. If you follow this simple rule, you will most likely see an improvement to your FLB index and gut health.