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Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends?

Updated on October 20, 2021
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Dhingra
Written by
Joel
4 sources cited
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Your gut is home to over 100 trillion bacteria. These microorganisms help break down food during digestion, making it easier for the body to absorb nutrients.

Known as the gut microbiome, these bacteria are essential to your digestive health. They also play an important role in other bodily functions, including:

  • Mood
  • Energy levels
  • Immunity
  • Mental health
  • Weight loss
Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 20

But for you to enjoy health benefits, there has to be a balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. Any imbalance in gut bacteria can lead to weight gain, gut issues, and other chronic conditions.

Thryve gives you a unique way to solve this problem. They test for gut imbalances and offer personalized solutions for improving gut health.

What is Thryve?

Thryve is a gut wellness company that provides at-home microbiome testing. The health test checks for good and bad bacteria in your gut. It also identifies specific strains that need work.

Currently, Thryve has one of the most accurate gut tests that you can take at home. The company offers generic and personalized probiotic blends to get your microbiome back in balance.

The company also provides food recommendations based on your results. These include foods that improve your gut health.

Thryve Gut Test

Thryve - Best Gut Health Test

Thryve gets our recommendation for the best microbiome test because they've been around the longest, they specialize in only testing microbiome, and they also have a good follow-up service (personalized probiotics and other items).

In this full review, we’ll take a closer look at Thryve’s products and the science behind them. From their Gut Health Test to their specially formulated probiotics, we’ll tell you if they live up to their claims.

We’ll also walk you through the process so you’ll know how it works and what to expect from their products.

Thryve’s Gut Health Test — What to Expect

Thryve Gut Test

Thryve’s Gut Health Test is an at-home testing kit that you can order from their website. You can have it sent to your home or the indicated address.

Quick facts

Sample CollectionStool
Testing TypeRibosomal RNA
SpeedTwo to four weeks
Privacy ProtectionStrong

What’s in the box?

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 1

Thryve’s Gut Health Test contains the following:

  1. Your activation card
  2. Sample collection kit
  3. Prepaid shipping box

Your sample collection kit will have two (2) cotton swabs and a collection tube with a preservative liquid. The prepaid shipping box has a plastic bag that is used to seal your stool sample.

How much does it cost?

When you order the Thryve kit, you’re not just getting the test. You are signing up for a complete program. The Thryve Gut Health Program is available in three variations:

The test that comes with every program is the same. The only difference is the addition of personalized probiotics which you can get on a subscription.

Thryve probiotics are specially formulated for your gut microbiome. Each bottle can last for one month.

Thryve’s Gut Health Program — $99

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 21

The basic Thryve Gut Health Program includes the Gut Health Test and a digital report. Your microbiome results will be ready within 2-3 weeks of sending your stool sample.

Thryve’s 1-Month Gut Health Program — $130.49

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 22

Thryve’s 1-Month Gut Health Program includes the test kit and your gut health report. You will also receive one (1) bottle of personalized probiotics when your results are ready.

Thryve’s 3-Month Gut Health Program — $188.99

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 23

Thryve’s 3-Month Gut Health Program includes the Gut Health Test and your microbiome results. There are also three (3) bottles of personalized probiotic supplements to be delivered to your home.

Pro tip: You can save $1.50 per month or $4.50 every 3 months if you opt for the 3-bottle subscription. You can pay the total cost upfront or split your payment across 4 months without interest using ViaBill.

Here’s what you get with your order

We ordered the basic Gut Health Test from their website. And Thryve does a great job of updating you via email so you know where your order is.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 2


Within days, our order arrived in discreet packaging. It’s a small flip top box which you can open from the side. The packaging itself is compact and sturdy, which we really like.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 3

When you open the box, you will see a blue Activation Card. Underneath it are two smaller boxes that contain everything you need:

  • The “Collect” Box — your sample collection kit
  • The “Send” Box — prepaid sending box

Thryve uses laminated cardstock for its boxes. It has a matte and slightly waterproof finish that doesn’t easily soak liquids.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 4

We appreciate the fact that each step is numbered, so you know what to do next. The boxes and cards are also printed with instructions, where to reach them for support, and a ‘thank you’ note for joining their program.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 7

Overall, it’s a great product with excellent packaging and steps that are easy to understand. You can tell that Thryve cares about the details of their product and not just the results.

Thryve Gut Test

Thryve - Best Gut Health Test

Thryve gets our recommendation for the best microbiome test because they've been around the longest, they specialize in only testing microbiome, and they also have a good follow-up service (personalized probiotics and other items).

Collecting and Sending Your Stool Sample

Below, we’ll walk you through the process on how to collect and send your stool sample. Make sure that you take a sample of your first bowel movement for that day. 

Some of these steps may seem a little gross but it’s really not that terrible. Thryve designed their kit to make sample collection as easy and as sanitary as possible.

Let’s get started.

Step 1 — Prepare for collection

Before your bowel movement, take the red “Collect” box with you to the bathroom. Then, place it on a flat surface with the lid open.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 5

Open the collection tube and place it upright in the built-in holder. (See that hole beside the collection tube? Place it there.) Make sure that you don’t spill its content.

Step 2 — Collect your stool sample

After your bowel movement, wipe with a clean toilet paper. Get one cotton swab from the box. Use it to collect the sample, which should be the size of one grain of rice.

Step 3 — Prepare your stool sample

Next, place the cotton swab inside the test tube. The soiled end should be at the bottom. Holding the clean end, stir the swab vigorously until the collection liquid changes color.

When it changes color, dispose of the swab. Tightly close the tube and shake it for another 5 seconds. For the meantime, place the vial back in the stand so you can clean up after yourself.

Step 4 — Send your stool sample

As soon as you’re finished, you can start preparing your sample.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 6

First make sure that the tube is clean. Then place it inside the orange “Send Box”. Follow the instructions inside the box. Check that it is secure before sending the sample.

Step 5 — Activate your kit

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After mailing your sample, go to https://thryveinside.com/activate and activate your kit. If you don’t have an account, Thryve will ask you to register.

When you’re done registering, fill in the details under “Add New Kit”. Use the Kit ID indicated on your blue Activation Card.

Pro tip: Thryve recommends that you activate your kit first. But they also need the exact date you collected your sample before they can do this. To avoid confusion, we recommend doing this step only after sending your sample.

Step 6 — Wait for your results

After receiving your sample, Thryve will analyze its content and produce a digital report within 2 to 4 weeks. Below, we discuss what’s in your report.

Your Gut Health Report — What’s In It?

Thryve’s report has three parts:

  • Your Gut Score 
  • Take Action
  • My Microbiome Report

You can access your Gut Health Report on https://app.thryeinside.com from your desktop or mobile browser. Personally, we found it easier to view the Thryve website on our phone.

Gut Score

The gut microbiome consists of bacteria that are either good or harmful. These include:

  • Commensal bacteria — Known to boost the immune system
  • Probiotic strains — Beneficial bacteria that provide health benefits
  • Pathogens — Bacteria that cause disease
Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 25

Your Gut Score depends on this delicate balance between pathogens, commensal bacteria, and probiotics. The higher your score, the healthier your gut. It’s the fastest way to tell how your gut is doing.

If you’ve previously taken a Thryve test or want to test your gut flora regularly, you can use your Gut Report to check for improvements.

Your gut bacteria needs some diversity as well. It should have a rich microbiome with enough variety of bacterial strains. Each strain must also have an evenly distributed population.

Thankfully, this section provides a general report on your gut diversity. All you have to do is click on the panel. Thryve also compares your results with the average healthy population from the American Gut Project.

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Here’s my Gut Diversity Score as an example. Compared to the average American with 83% gut diversity, I’m doing much better with 95% diversity.

Gut Microbiome Report

Your digestive tract is like a mini-ecosystem for trillions of bacteria. With this report, you’ll know exactly which bacteria live in your gut and how many of them there are. Thryve also explains why certain microbes can be good (or bad) for your health.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 27

Your Gut Microbiome Report tells you which bacteria you need to cultivate and keep under control.

Thryve Gut Test

Thryve - Best Gut Health Test

Thryve gets our recommendation for the best microbiome test because they've been around the longest, they specialize in only testing microbiome, and they also have a good follow-up service (personalized probiotics and other items).

Bacteria Levels

Thryve shows you the percentage of gut bacteria that are deficient and within optimal levels. The report also includes a summary of specific strains you must improve or get rid of.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 28

If you want to learn more about these strains, you can explore the panel by clicking through. It will give you a list of specific bacteria and their effects on your health.

Thryve also shows your bacteria levels for each strain and compares them with the healthy average. This gives you an idea of how much work is needed to increase its levels.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 29

Here’s a sample report from my gut microbiome test. It says that I’m deficient in Lactobacillus — a beneficial bacteria and probiotic strain. Thryve also provides some information on the Lactobacillus along with its health benefits.

Gut Bacteria

This section highlights the total number of bacteria in your gut. According to Thryve, it detected 41,577 species from my sample.

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Again, you can explore this panel to learn more about the specific bacteria that make up your gut. The report shows you the percentage of each strain compared to the total population.

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Not all strains will be added to your report. However, it does include “statistically relevant” strains. Meaning, only bacteria with enough population are considered for accurate results.

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Thryve will also tell you if a bacteria is commensal, pathogenic, or a probiotic strain. If these terms confuse you, just click on the question mark (?) to see what it’s about.

Symptom Likeliness

Gut imbalances can lead to various health concerns. In this section, Thryve tells you which symptoms you will likely develop due to low probiotic levels.

Some possible symptoms of gut imbalance include:

  • Stomach upset
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Skin inflammation
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Decreased sleep quality
Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 33

Thryve predicts your symptoms based on your gut microbiome results. These may be symptoms you are already aware of or have yet to manifest.

You can also learn about the specific strains causing your symptoms. For instance, my report says that I easily get tired because I'm lacking Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 34

I can say for myself that Thryve did get some of my symptoms right. While not 100% accurate, it’s possible that they might show later.

Of course, it’s best not to wait for these symptoms. Thankfully, Thryve offers ways you can improve your gut health.

Take Action — How Thryve Improves Gut Health

Your gut has to have the right balance of bacteria. When there’s too much or too little of certain strains, it can lead to imbalances.

Thryve provides the following actionable steps to bring back this balance:

Personalized Probiotic Recommendations

Cost: $34.99 per month or $89.99 every 3 months

Thryve will suggest a supplement for your microbiome's needs. It contains a custom blend of probiotics that have been hand-picked to correct your gut imbalance.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 35

If you take a look around, you can learn more about your blend, including:

  • Probiotic ingredients
  • The health benefits of each probiotic
  • The number of probiotics in each serving

Thryve offers their custom probiotics on a subscription basis. Subscriptions include a monthly gut health report that updates you with progress.

Thryve Gut Test

Thryve - Best Gut Health Test

Thryve gets our recommendation for the best microbiome test because they've been around the longest, they specialize in only testing microbiome, and they also have a good follow-up service (personalized probiotics and other items).

Custom Dietary Recommendations

Cost: Free

In addition to your customized supplement, Thryve will provide a personalized food plan. This report is very comprehensive and gives you ideas on what to eat. 

Thryve has analyzed thousands of food items with the sole purpose of maximizing the health of your gut’s microbiome. Based on your sample, the company suggests the top foods that will help the beneficial bacteria to thrive in your gut.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 10

These recommendations encompass different food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, poultry, fish and seafood, oils and fats, beverages, herbs and spices, and even desserts.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 11

Each food comes with useful facts such as

  • Its effects on your gut (e.g. increases beneficial bacteria)
  • Specialized diets to use it with (e.g., Keto diet, Atkins)
  • Other health benefits

Thryve also provides food recipes. It comes complete with ingredients, instructions, preparation time, cook time, and the number of servings.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 36

I'm interested to start trying some of the foods they recommend. You can filter out foods you’re allergic to and pick the top foods based on your preferences.

Thryve’s Probiotics

In addition to the personalized probiotics, the company offers a variety of premade probiotic blends made for several purposes. Its certified laboratories have formulated custom blends to improve gut health, give you energy, increase ketones, strengthen your immune system, and enhance your mood.

Is Thryve Accurate?

Short answer: Yes. Gut’s microbiome testing is accurate. Below, we explain why Thryve tests are accurate and provide scientific data to back it up.

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 37

1. Proprietary collection method

Stool samples degrade within 24 hours of collection.1 If they sit too long, they can lose their microbes and lead to inaccurate results.

Thryve uses a preservation buffer to keep your sample fresh. It has a proprietary formula that extends the shelf life of stool samples.

Thryve claims that due to the unique sample buffer, their results are 28% more accurate than competitors. According to the company, the buffer keeps bacterial cells in a state of stasis until they arrive at the lab; something other companies don’t do.

Keep in mind that it takes days before Thryve can start processing your report. Thankfully, their buffer keeps the microbes in your fecal sample intact even after 2 months in room temperature.2

2. Standardized microbiome testing

Thryve uses 16S RNA sequencing to test your gut flora. It’s the same testing method used in laboratories and is proven to be more effective than DNA testing.3

16S RNA is an abundant ribosomal RNA found in thousands of bacteria. It’s also highly variable across different species of bacteria. Meaning, it produces unique markers for each strain.

This allows Thryve to identify and distinguish a wide variety of bacteria.

3. Statistically relevant results

Thryve analyzes for more than 10,000 species of gut bacteria. But in your report, it doesn’t show all the strains that live in your gut — which is actually a good thing.

Your report only includes strains that are statistically relevant. In scientific research, a population that has “statistical relevance” is mathematically significant.4

Simply put, Thryve identifies strains with enough numbers in your gut flora. Naturally, you want to target strains that are more likely to impact your health.

4. Science-based information

Your Thryve report includes insights on about 3,000 microbes associated with disease and health. This wealth of information is backed by over 36,000 articles on microbiome research.

Scientific studies are referenced on your report. This allows you to verify the information on specific bacteria more easily.

Thryve’s built-in algorithm also analyzes these studies and grades them based on the strength of evidence. You can use this rating to see how reliable their information is.

When it comes to their recommendations, the company has yet to receive FDA approval. So they shouldn’t be used as a sole treatment for any serious or chronic conditions. 

However, it does a great job of giving accurate and useful information on the individual strains residing within your body. It also offers some fairly reliable steps you can take to improve your gut health and overall wellbeing.

Overall review — How do Thryve’s products stack up?

Review of Thryve

We like Thryve as a product.

Joel

Thryve Review — Can You Trust Thryve’s Microbiome Test and Probiotic Blends? 38
Ease of Use
Health Information
Speed of Results
Speed of Updates
Privacy Protection

Summary

We love Thryve for its accurate and useful health info.

4.8

Pros:

  • One of the most accurate at-home microbiome tests on the market
  • Tons of data about the different bacteria living in your gut
  • Actionable results and easy to follow steps for improving your health
  • Personalized probiotic blends formulated specifically for your gut’s needs
  • Unique sample buffer that does a better job than the competition at preserving your sample until it reaches Thryve’s labs
  • Five different scientifically and clinically proven probiotic blends for everything from energy to mood

Cons:

  • Products aren’t FDA approved
  • Personalized probiotic Gut Health Test packages are a little pricey
  • Test kits don’t check for viruses that may be inhabiting your gut

Thryve’s range of products offers a proven way to improve your health starting with the organisms living in your gut. While the science behind using probiotics to better your microbiome is still relatively new, there has been loads of promising research.

The Gut Health Test is one of the most accurate microbiome tests on the market, making it the best option out there for testing your gut’s flora. And even though the probiotic blends offered by Thryve lack FDA approval, they have all been backed by studies and linked to better health.

However, seeing as Thryve’s products haven’t received FDA approval, you shouldn’t use them as the only treatment for more serious conditions.

Buy now:

Thryve Gut Test

Thryve - Best Gut Health Test

Thryve gets our recommendation for the best microbiome test because they've been around the longest, they specialize in only testing microbiome, and they also have a good follow-up service (personalized probiotics and other items).

Resources

SHOW
HIDE

(1) “How to collect and store a stool sample.” Airedale National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust.

(2) “Our Science.” Thryve.

(3) “16S rRNA Gene Sequencing for Bacterial Identification in the Diagnostic Laboratory.” National Center of Biotechnology Information.

(4) “Statistical Significance.” National Center of Biotechnology Information.

Dr. Dhingra
Dr. Harshi Dhingra
Medical Reviewer
Dr Harshi Dhingra is a licensed medical doctor with a specialization in Pathology. Dr. Dhingra has of over a decade in diagnostic, clinical, research and teaching work, including managing all sections of Pathology laboratory including histopathology, cytology, hematology and clinical Pathology.
Joel
Content Contributor
Joel is a writer with a passion for the science of DNA and the power of its manipulation.
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