Your gut microbiome holds insights into your health and wellbeing. Understand your unique microbiome, how it affects your health, and how you can achieve a better balance between desirable and less desirable microorganisms in your gut. A Gut Health Dietitian explains how it all works and how to optmise it in your nutrition plan.
The gut microbiome includes all the bacteria living in our gut that each have their own functions when fed properly through good nutrition. Most gut bacteria live in our intestines, but are present throughout the entire digestive system.
They are required for many processes in the body including:
Digesting our food to make nutrients easier to access for our body to use
Protecting against infections from harmful bacteria that may cause illness or disease
Producing essential vitamins required for normal body functioning
An optimal balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut is required for these functions to occur. The latest research highlights that this may even contribute to weight maintenance or weight loss. Because of the wealth of new research surrounding the gut microbiome, it is becoming a trendy topic and for good reason. But how exactly can you achieve a balance between good and bad bacteria in your gut microbiome to maintain good gut health? Learn more about the science behind our gut.
Dietary and lifestyle modifications is the best way to improve your gut health. By implementing healthy lifestyle habits and also a gut loving diet, it can help promote diversity in the gut microbiome and support the protective barriers of the gut.
If you are looking to take a further step into your gut health journey, consider gut microbiome testing. The aim of gut microbiome analysis is to:
Assess your baseline: establish a detailed profile of your microbiome. Better understand the current state of your gut.
Inform your choices: explore your personal key insights with practical dietary suggestions. Make a plan and target areas for improvement
Monitor the impact: See the impact of changes you make and track how your microbiome shifts over time with further microbiome analysis.
Pros and Cons of Gut Microbiome Testing
The gut microbiome is a very complex organ as new research about it emerges almost daily. There is still a lot that we need to learn about it and as a result, gut microbiome tests are not perfect. At this stage, there are few concerns:
There is no standard reference range to determine what is a healthy or normal gut microbiome is i.e. how much of the good or bad bacteria is 'good'
Limited evidence to support that certain gut bacterias is associated with increased risk of certain diseases
Limited evidence to support that including specific foods will improve certain gut microbes
However there are benefits as well:
Science has told us that we need more of the healthy good bacteria than the bad, the test can allow us to have an insight into the composition of your gut microbiome
Discover your potential to breakdown nutrients
Learn about the potential of your gut micorbiome to produce substances associated with health
Allows us to visualise the progress of your dietary and lifestyle modifications
Who may benefit from a gut microbiome test?
You are looking to improve your gut health as part of your wellness journey
You are curious about your gut microbiome composition
Who may not benefit from a gut microbiome test?
You are actively receiving medical treatment such as cancer treatment or medications that can impact the gut microbiome (e.g. antibiotics, steroids)
You are experiencing digestive symptoms that have not been investigated by a doctor yet
You are looking to use the gut microbiome test as a diagnostic tool
Four Seasons Dietetics is now collaborating with Microba to offer gut microbiome testing for our clients.
Our experienced dietitians have undertaken further training on using their Insight platform to ensure we can effectively interpret your results. If you have any questions regarding the test, please check their FAQ here.
I am interested in gut micribome testing and a nutrition plan.
At this stage, we are offering gut microbiome analysis exlusively in our Gut Healthy program. Once you have enrolled in our program, you will receive instructions on how to order your test kit and schedule an optional 15-minute call with our dietitian to discuss any questions you may have. Results will take Microba approximately 2-4 weeks to process.
Once your results have been received, you will have an in-depth 90-minute session with your dietitian. In this in-depth session, our dietitian will use evidence-based methods in combination with your gut microbiome analysis results to develop your personal nutrition plan. To learn more about our Gut Healthy course, click here.
Please note: We do not profit from your order of the gut microbiome testing kit. The referral link given to you is simply to ensure your dietitian gets a copy of your results once analysis is completed by the provider.
If you are interested to know if this test is appropriate for you or not sure where to start your health journey? Book an appointment with our gut dietitian to discuss further.