A handful of companies offer tests that examine customers' gut microbiomes and some then provide advice on how to tweak them to be healthier, but Stat News reports that scientists say not enough is yet known to make such health claims.
Companies like Thryve and uBiome rely on 16S sequencing to analyze the microbiome, while Viome instead examines the gut metatranscriptome, Stat News notes. Last year, Viome raised $15 million last year for its venture to identify gut microbes, determine their behavior, and offer ways to "balance" the gut microbiome, as GenomeWeb reported at the time. The company Day Two, meanwhile, conducts metagenomic sequencing of the gut microbiome to help people manage their weight, Stat News adds.
But as Stat News writes, scientists aren't yet sure what makes a gut microbiome healthy, never mind whether items like probiotics then alter the makeup of the gut microbiome.
"I just think that it's early to be saying that we can make recommendations about what people should do based upon one of these microbiome diagnostics," the University of California, Davis' Jonathan Eisen tells Stat News.