The expert team of myBioma microbiome analysis enlightens you!
We are not only passionate about drinking Kombucha, but are also interested in all important topics concerning intestinal health and everything that goes with it. Therefore, it was obvious to exchange ideas with the experts from myBioma and to test their myBioma microbiome analysis. Of course, we are especially interested in how our Kombucha has affected our intestines. More about this after the interview!
Who is behind myBioma and how did you guys come up with developing a microbiome analysis?
myBioma was founded in 2018 by Dr. Barbara Sladek and Dr. med. Nikolaus Gasche. Our founding team has a relevant background in molecular biology and medicine. Barbara Sladek holds a PhD in biochemistry (Oxford, UK) and a degree in molecular biology (University of Vienna). Nikolaus Gasche is a medical doctor and serial entrepreneur.
Barbara and Nikolaus had their first conversations about the importance of the gut microbiome far away from Vienna - in Ghana. Barbara was there as a traveler, Nikolaus as a clinical traineeship. Three years and many conversations later they put their plan into action and founded the biotech start-up myBioma with a focus on "Next-DNA-Generation Sequencing, a scientific and IT-heavy procedure.
The goal is to bring the importance of the gut microbiome to the forefront and establish gut health analysis as a routine measure.
What is meant by the term microbiome?
The microbiome is the collection of the trillions of microorganisms that live in and on our bodies. It consists mainly of bacteria, but also contains fungi, viruses and primordial bacteria. In total, there are over 30 trillion bacteria from over 1000 species living in us - that's more bacteria than we have cells in our body.
It's fascinating the impact the microbiome has on our overall health: In addition to typical digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, flatulence or bloated belly, complaints with calorie utilization, skin, cardiovascular, insulin balance or even our psyche can also have their cause here. Our microbiome communicates directly with our brain and thus also influences our behavior. All the more important to pay attention to the health of your own microbiome!
The myBioma founding team, Dr. med. univ. Nikolaus Gasche and Dr. Barbara Sladek
What distinguishes myBioma from a conventional stool sample at the doctor?
What is often asked is why the analysis at the family doctor is cheaper and much faster. This is of course true, but the analysis at the doctor's is based on stool cultures. Such cultures are one of the oldest methods of analysis (for 200 years) and are inaccurate in the quantitative detection of different bacteria. In addition, an analysis using stool culture detects on average only 10 different bacterial species, whereas the myBioma method (Next Generation Sequencing) can detect over 1000 different bacterial species. Due to the complexity of Next Generation Sequencing, the analysis is very cost-intensive. However, you also get a completely different result. You not only learn which bacteria live in your own intestine, but also what they are responsible for. The whole thing is clearly presented in an individual microbiome report including suggestions for improvement. We have also developed our own app, in which the result can also be called up.
How does the myBioma microbiome analysis work exactly?
We have tried to make the process as simple as possible. The kit can be ordered online on our homepage: www.mybioma.com directly to your home, which also makes stool collection more convenient. The sample can therefore be taken in the familiar toilet and returned to us with a pre-paid return envelope. Detailed instructions, as well as help for stool collection, are included in the kit. Afterwards, the sample only needs to be activated either on our homepage or app. We will always provide status updates on where the sample is at any given time. Once we receive the sample, we pass it on directly to our partner laboratory, which is located in Vienna General Hospital. We also work together with the Medical University of Vienna. Here the stool is sequenced, which can take up to 6 weeks. Afterwards we get a huge dataset, which our bioinformaticians prepare clearly, so that you get a health report of your own microbiome. Here you can also have a look at our sample report.
What tips do you give your testers in case of an unbalanced microbiome?
First of all, we don't recommend probiotics, medications or any other miracle pills. With the right foods and lifestyle, we can feed and grow the right bacteria so that they work for us again. Generally speaking, a healthy lifestyle has a positive effect on our microbiome, at myBioma we summarize five pillars of a healthy gut microbiome: First and foremost - nutrition. It's not just the quality of our food that counts, but more importantly how we eat. Hasty eating can stress our gut - which brings us to the second point: Stress is one of the No. 1 causes of disease in our society and our microbiome is also negatively affected by it. Another important aspect is regular exercise, which activates our gut and preferably in the fresh air. Getting enough sleep is also good for our microbiome. Last but not least, toxins such as alcohol, nicotine and medication should be avoided as far as possible. In the microbiome report, everyone receives scientifically based nutritional suggestions that are easy to integrate into everyday life. For example, to strengthen the gut-brain axis, it is important to include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of brain-related diseases and promote positive gut bacteria. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish such as trout, salmon and sardines, avocado, spinach, nuts and seeds and also in cold-pressed organic olive oil.
What diet can be used to support the microbiome?
A varied and diverse diet of mostly vegetables & fruits is the best choice to feed our good gut bacteria. The right diet lays the foundation for a healthy microbiome. It is also important to include enough prebiotics and probiotics from natural sources.
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that are helpful by specifically stimulating the growth of good gut bacteria. Prebiotic foods include onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, asparagus, beans, bananas, chicory, artichokes, dandelions, apples, flaxseeds, and collard greens.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that are added to various foods. They have health-promoting effects and are contained, for example, in natural yoghurt (unsweetened!), sauerkraut or kombucha.
What are your thoughts on fermented foods such as kombucha, can it improve gut health?
Fermented foods like kombucha contain different strains of bacteria that can help regenerate the gut. For example, such bacteria have also been shown to alter brain activity related to stress and emotion regulation, leading to an improvement in antioxidant status. This in turn affects the balance of insulin. So, we think fermented foods are brilliant and also recommend them in our review for different ailments.
Would you also recommend a microbiome analysis for psychological problems to rule out any imbalances in the gut?
Of course, we always recommend contacting a doctor for serious issues. Nevertheless, it can be useful to take a look at the microbiome in case of mental problems. After all, the gut is home to over 100 million nerve cells that lead to the brain. That's even more nerve cells than all those leading from the brain to the entire body. This means that the intestine is in a constant exchange of information with the brain. The nervous system of the intestine uses the same neurotransmitters (information transmitters between cells) as the brain and neurotransmitters play an important role in mental illnesses, such as depression. The metabolism of bacteria in the digestive tract can disturb the balance of brain messengers such as noradrenaline, dopamine or serotonin and thus influence the state of mind.
We have also dedicated ourselves to this topic in our report, so you can also learn more about your own gut-brain axis with myBioma.
My experiences with the myBioma microbiome analysis!
I actually had the pleasure to test the myBioma microbiome analysis myself. The test in combination with the very well structured app was really interesting. Because even beforehand, interesting questions are asked about various eating habits and ailments etc.
After I sent the sample, I waited anxiously for my result and was regularly informed about the latest status of the sample.
My personal microbiome report then also turned out to be above average. The microbial composition, nutrition and food utilization and health were excellent. In addition, the composition of the bacteria is listed in detail. My species richness and probiotic bacteria also came out above average.
I am very happy that for me, a balanced diet combined with kombucha seems to provide a healthy gut microbiome. The app additionally offers important tips to work against a wide variety of ailments and really takes the user by the hand in detail. Here are a few excerpts from my personal review. However, this is really only a very small part, of the complex analysis.
By the way, with the code KOMBUCHERY15 you get 15% discount on the microbiome analysis of myBioma!
Thanks for reading!