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Viome: microbiome RNA analysis.

Discussion in 'Laboratory and Genetic Testing' started by Robert 1973, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Robert 1973

    Robert 1973 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’m interested to hear people’s thoughts on this commercial service offering to analyse people’s microbiome using RNA sequencing, and to give personalised dietary advice based on the results:
    https://www.viome.com/our-science

    From the wesbite:
    There is also a commercial podcast interview with the CEO Naveen Jain here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/nutrition-podcasts/microbiome-gut-testing/

    I have a quite lot of reservations but about this company but I’m very interested to hear what others think. The commercial nature of the podcast was a bit off-putting – and I’m deeply suspicious of anybody charging $300 for unconventional testing and claiming to be doing it not for profit but for the benefit of mankind. I’m also very dubious about whether the technology and science is sufficiently developed to be able to produce clinically useful results from this type of testing yet. And some of Naveen Jain’s apparent lack of uncertainty about the role of the microbiome in disease rang alarm bells for me. That said, I’m still tempted to try it. And I’m convinced that this is an avenue of research which needs to be explored in far greater depth. My guess is that in 5-10 years we will have a far better understanding of the association of the microbiome and disease, but I’m not sure I can wait that long.
     
  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is quack garbage Robert.
    What would be the point of sequencing all the RNA in your stool? You might as well sequence the RNA in your front garden flower beds. Or measure all the trainer shoe sizes in a landfill.

    Even if the microbiome mattered to disease, which I doubt, this would be a completely useless way to look at what matters.
     
  3. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It’s a popular money spinner with no real quantifiable proof that what they are doing isnt just giving non correlated general diet advice.

    No one has even mapped out what healthy looks like at a species level let alone test it versus the thousands of variables at play, so how would they even know what advice to give? Even if analysing poo was the right method, which is highly debatable? Their claims just in the extract above are highly misleading and unlikely to be true.

    I wouldn’t waste money on this personally, or anybody that claims they know what to do with diet/microbiome and how it makes people “healthy”.

    I haven’t seen anything compelling yet and I’ve been reading research on microbiome/gut health for quite a few years now. If they had the answers they claim, there would be more to see in terms of research. So far ....not so much, other than the equivalent of ...we know there are mammals in Africa and they might be getting up to all sorts of things if we could just get over there and have a proper look.

    I was going to say something witty about bears and woods...but it’s quite late.
     
    andypants, Robert 1973, Mij and 2 others like this.
  4. Robert 1973

    Robert 1973 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Would the RNA in someone’s stool not reflect their microbiome?

    NB I should perhaps have added that, as far as I can see, the company makes no claims about being able to treat disease.
     
    andypants likes this.
  5. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I think even if you know the details of your microbiome, there's not sufficiently developed science to be able to tell people how to change their diet to alter the balance, and even if you could do that, how that might or might not affect your health. I suspect just eating a healthy balanced diet with lots of vegetables and sufficient fibre would be all they could reasonably advise.

    I remember reading about research on microbiomes in groups of people whose diet changes significantly with the seasons where they observed the microbiome gradually adjusted according to which foods were dominant in the diet in that season - the changes didn't reflect any health problem, just a natural adjustment according to what the particular microorganisms feed on.
     
  6. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I half suspect that we may end up doing a lot of research over the next ten years to just find out that our microbiome changes with the food we eat and that it’s quite robust and adaptable over a 4-8 weeks period. I am interested in the research, but a bit dubious as to whether it will lead to microbiome tailoring or that we will discover something remarkable that affects medical conditions. I suspect it may eventually add proof that a balanced varied diet with a reasonable amount of fibre in it is a good thing...but hey we know that now already....it just might make it more ‘sciency’ I suppose.


    I recently read a report about whole grains and a new bit of research that now shows the exact mechanisms as to how this is beneficial (as oppose to knowing its good but not why). Every bit of research leads to greater understanding and it makes sense the microbiome has a role to play in digestion. That’s why I keep up with it anyway. I get a bit disappointed when science is commercialised before it’s actually found the answers though and this seems to be a good example.
     
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