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The gut contains 2kg of microorganisms!

The gut contains trillions of microorganisms weighing up to 2kg and is as unique to you as your fingerprint. Your microbiome has many useful functions which include absorbing and producing nutrients, maintaining the gut lining to keep out toxins and inhibit unwelcome microorganisms, providing immunity, and producing mood regulating hormones such as serotonin. The microbiome can be disrupted by a number of lifestyle and environmental factors including medications and antibiotics, chronic constipation, stress and diet. Refer to our blog - The forgotten organ, the thriving population that lives in your gut - for more information.

Gut flora

The modern diet has reduced the diversity of the microbiome

Dysbiosis is an unhealthy imbalance in the gut microbiome which not only affects bowel function (causing irritable bowel symptoms), but can also lead to inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, and even mental health problems. This PCR based microbiome test will analyse the DNA of your gut bacteria and show you if you have an undergrowth or overgrowth in specific gut microbes.

If you'd like a nutritional review and assessment of your test results by our Clinical Nutritionist, consider adding on a Nutrition Assessment.

What we test

Faecal Macroscopy

Macroscopy looks at stool colour and formation, as well as for evidence of mucous or blood which may require further investigation.

This macroscopy test measures

Brown is the colour of normal stool. Other colours may indicate abnormal gastrointestinal conditions.

Mucous production may indcate the presence of an infection, inflammation or malignancy.

This test is used to detect bleeding in the digestive tract, and is used in the UK's National Bowel Screening program. This test can detect tiny traces of blood in the stool, and can indicate the presence of disease at a relatively early stage when stools may appear normal.

Digestion

Normal protein digestion and absorption should be relatively complete in the stomach and small intestine - increased faecal products of protein breakdown can signal a digestive issue.

This blood test measures:

Chymotrypsin is a pancreatic enzyme involved in protein digestion. Low levels of chymotrypsin may indicate protein maldigestion due to pancreatic insufficiency.

Derived from bacterial fermentation of protein in the distal colon. Normal protein digestion and absorption is relatively complete in the stomach and small intestine.

The presence of meat fibres may indicate maldigestion from too little gastric acid or reduced output from the pancreas.

The presence of vegetable fibres may indicate maldigestion from gastric hypoacidity or diminished pancreatic output.

Absorption

Elevated faecal fat may indicate maldigestion, malabsorption, or steatorrhoea.

This blood test measures:

Elevated levels of Triglycerides in the stool may indicate lipid maldigestion.

Elevated levels of LCFAs in the stool may indicate inadequate lipid absorption.

Elevated levels of Cholesterol in the stool may indicate inadequate absorption.

Elevated levels of Phospholipids in the stool may indicate inadequate absorption.

Elevated faecal fat may indicate maldigestion, malabsorption, or steatorrhoea.

Metabolic Markers

Short Chain Fatty Acids are produced by anaerobic bacterial fermentation of fibre and play important roles in maintaining health and integrity of the colon.

This blood test measures:

Elevated SCFAs may indicate bacterial overgrowth. Inadequate SCFAs may indicate inadequate normal flora.

Decreased Butyrate levels may indicate inadequate colonic function.

Imbalances in gut pH influence short chain fatty acid production and their effect.

Increased levels of b-Glucuronidase may reverse the effects of Phase II detoxification processes.

Inflammation

Lactoferrin is used to detect inflammation in the intestines. Intestinal inflammation is associated with bacterial infections and/or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and is associated with disease activity and severity.

This blood test measures:

Lactoferrin is used to detect inflammation in the intestines. Intestinal inflammation is associated with bacterial infections and/or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and is associated with disease activity and severity.

Beneficial Bacteria

Significant numbers of bacteria are normally present in the healthy gut. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in particular, are essential for gut health because they help to inhibit gut pathogens and carcinogens, control pH, reduce cholesterol and synthesise vitamins.

This stool test measures

Bifidobacteria are considered "friendly” bacteria that are found in fermented foods like yogurt and cheese, and are used in probiotics. The gut needs these bacteria to perform several jobs, including breaking down foods, taking in nutrients, and preventing overgrowth of "bad” pathogenic bacteria.

Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are essential for gut health because they prevent overgrowth of gut pathogens, and contribute to managing intestinal pH, cholesterol, and synthesis of vitamins and disaccharidase enzymes.

Most E. coli strains are harmless and play an essential role in keeping the digestive system healthy, helping to digest food and producing Vitamin K. However, some E. coli bacteria are pathogenic and can cause disease.

Pathogenic & Opportunistic Bacteria

Our gut bacteria can be divided into ‘bad’ and ‘good’. The good ones for the most part benefit us, whreas the bad 'pathogenic' ones can cause disease. Pathogens are usually present in small quantities in the microbiome, however in excessive amounts they can have adverse effects on the body. The beneficial bacteria of the microbiome have a protective function against colonisation by pathogenic bacteria.

This microbiome test measures:

Klebsiella forms part of the normal gut flora in small numbers, but can be an opportunistic pathogen

Part of the normal flora of the gastrointestinal tract, though has been shown to be an independent causative agent of intestinal disorders. May also play a role as an opportunistic organism in enteric infection due to other pathogens. Food has been implicated as a vehicle of infection.

Streptococcus is common in the gut flora. With the exception of very rare cases, streptococcus species are not implicated in gastric disease.

Enterococcus species are part of normal flora in the human gut, but can however be implicated in a variety of infections of which urinary tract infections are the most common.

Other bacteria tested for include alpha-haemolytic Streptococcus, gamma-haemolytic Streptococcus, Pseudomonas species, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Bacillus species, Citrobacter amalonaticus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae

Yeasts

This test looks for evidence of candida or other yeast overgrowth. Whilst yeasts are a normal inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract, they may become an opportunistic pathogen after disruption of the mucosal barrier, imbalance of the normal intestinal flora or impaired immunity. This can be caused by things like antibiotics, antacids and stress.

This stool test measures

Candida albicans is the main type of yeast which colonises the human body. It normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and other areas of the body without causing problems, but imbalance in the microbiome can lead to overgrowth.

Whilst yeasts are a normal inhabitant of the gut, they may become an opportunistic pathogen after disruption of the mucosal barrier, imbalance of the normal intestinal flora or impaired immunity. This can be caused by things like antibiotics, antacids and stress.

Test instructions

Your stool test kit and all instructions are posted directly to you, and there is no need to visit a collection centre.

Mail your sample back to the lab using the prepaid envelope and packaging.

Results for this test available in 2 weeks and will be published in your online dashboard.

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