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Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think

Updated on May 19, 2022
Written by
Chris Quilalang
6 sources cited
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The gut microbiome consists of “good” and “bad” bacteria, fungi, and other microbes in the intestines. It’s linked to several health aspects, like digestion and the immune system. 

Interest in the effects of these microbes led to the proliferation of gut microbiome testing. In this review, let’s talk about one of the companies offering such testing—Viome. 

Quick Facts on Viome Gut Test

  • Offers two at-home testing kits and two monthly subscriptions
  • Uses an RNA technology to identify gut microbes
  • Uses artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret findings and provide recommendations
  • Tests require blood and stool samples
  • Tests not FDA-approved
Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think 18
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Gut Health Test Kit by Viome

Viome is a U.S.-based company offering gut microbiome testing and supplement supplies. It uses AI and RNA technology to analyze stool and blood samples.

Viome offers four products:1

  1. Gut Intelligence™ Test: Viome’s primary at-home gut microbiome test.
  2. Health Intelligence™ Test (with Gut Intelligence™): Combines the Gut Intelligence™ and human gene expression tests.  
  3. Precision Probiotics + Prebiotics with Gut Intelligence™: A subscription that includes a monthly supply of prebiotics and probiotics plus one Gut Intelligence™ test per year.
  4. Precision Supplements Complete with Health & Gut Intelligence Testing: A subscription that includes a monthly supply of probiotics, prebiotics, and other supplements. It also contains two Health Intelligence™ and Gut Intelligence™ tests per year.  

Viome will use your results to develop food and supplement recommendations. The supplement formula is a unique blend of probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and food extracts.

Probiotics are microbes naturally present in your digestive system. They feed on your food, but supplementing with prebiotics ensures they have enough nutrients. 

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What Does Viome Test For?

Viome offers two at-home testing kits: 

  • Gut Intelligence™ Test
  • Health Intelligence™ Test (with Gut Intelligence™)

Viome Gut Intelligence™ Test

The Gut Intelligence™ uses a stool sample to identify and measure gut microbes. The result is expressed as the Gut Microbiome Health score. Viome uses this result to come up with your food and supplement recommendations.

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Viome Health Intelligence™ Test (with Gut Intelligence™)

The Health Intelligence™ combines Gut Intelligence™ and human gene expression tests. It uses both stool and blood samples. 

Aside from Gut Microbiome health, it provides five more health scores: 

  • Biological Age
  • Stress Response Health
  • Cellular Health
  • Immune System Health
  • Mitochondrial Health

Viome will use these scores as the basis for your food and supplement recommendations for the following months. 

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Viome Health + Gut Intelligence™ Test

How Does Viome Work?

  1. Order a test kit: Start by choosing one of Viome’s four products. You’ll receive your kit through mail. 
  2. Collect sample: Viome only offers at-home test kits, so you collect the sample yourself. Collect stool for the Gut Intelligence™ test. Collect blood and stool for the Health Intelligence™ test. 
  3. Send back the samples for lab testing: Viome uses an RNA technology called “metatranscriptomic sequencing” to analyze gut microbes. It will use AI to interpret findings and develop your food and supplement recommendations. 
  4. Order supplements (optional): Get a subscription service if you want a monthly supply of probiotics, prebiotics, or customized supplements. You can cancel or pause the subscription any time.  

How Does Viome Protect Your Privacy?

According to Viome, it separates any identifiable information from your health data. It secures your data with multiple layers of encryption.

The company states that it would never provide your data to third parties (unless required by law). You do have the option to let Viome use your anonymized data for research.2

How Long Do Viome Results Take?

Expect your results to be available within two to three weeks. You can access your health scores (depending on the type of test) on Viome’s website or app. 

You’ll also get personalized food and supplement recommendations which Viome has determined based on your results.

Is Viome Accurate?

One thing to know about Viome’s gut microbiome tests is that they’re not FDA-approved. This may seem dubious for a company that offers test kits for health insights. But be aware that no similar tests have been granted an FDA approval as of the moment.

Moreover, Viome utilizes AI instead of doctors and nutritionists to develop personalized recommendations. They were done by comparing your results with Viome’s wealth of information. 

Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think 21
KnowYourDNA / Chris

These factors do not mean gut microbiome tests are not worthwhile. Some studies have supported testing to improve gut health through diet and supplement recommendations.3

Gut microbiome tests also have the potential to detect the risk of some health problems. Examples include type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), poor digestive health, mental health disorders, some cancers, and heart disease.4, 5, 6

What I Learned From My Viome Results

Let’s look at my results and check what Viome has said about my gut health. The results discussed here are only about Gut IntelligenceTM as it’s the test that I took.  

I logged in to my account. A homepage greets me with steps and statuses. This is a good way to monitor a test. 

Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think 22

The “Nutrition” section provides the bulk of my information. It contains my Gut Microbiome Health, personalized diet recommendations, and a guide to following these recommendations. 

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Food Recommendations

The “Nutrition” section starts with “My Food List.” It has 300+ foods, categorized as:  

  • Superfoods
  • Enjoy 
  • Minimize
  • Avoid

One of my superfoods is egg yolk. I clicked on “Egg Yolk (Chicken),” and the report contained serving size, my response to egg yolk, and several studies. Pretty helpful information, if I may say.

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One food Viome said I should enjoy is soybeans. I clicked on “Soybeans (non-GMO).” The report only contains a serving size. No other information is provided. 

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Now to the foods that I should minimize. I clicked on my “Pork (Lean)” report. It also contains only serving size. 

Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think 26

Lastly, the foods that I should avoid. I looked at celery. This report provides more information on why I should avoid this food (like my body’s response and several support studies).

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The list is quite long. Too long that many people may find it challenging to check and note them all. 

Moreover, there’s not much explanation. The body responses may be helpful. But the support studies may be too technical that people won’t bother to check them.

The food recommendations are AI-selected. They’re developed after comparing my results against Viome’s collection of data. They’re not provided by doctors or nutritionists, actual experts who are experienced in this area.

Viome Precision Supplements™

The “Nutrition” section also contains my supplement recommendation. If you click on one ingredient, it will provide an overview and support studies. 

Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think 28

Like in food recommendations, the discussions here can get too technical. 

Gut Microbiome Health Report

Lastly, the “Nutrition” section contains my Gut Microbiome Health. This is the only score I would get with the Gut IntelligenceTM test. (I can also access this report under the “Results” submenu.)

My score: “not optimal.” 

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The report only lists the ingredients contributing to my “not optimal” result. Viome identified 38 food components (including vitamins, herbs, minerals, food extracts, amino acids, prebiotics, and probiotics). 

I clicked on “View Score” to get more details.

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Viome showed these sub-scores that affected the calculation of my Gut Microbiome Health score: 

  • Inflammatory Activity
  • Metabolic Fitness
  • Digestive Efficiency
  • Gut Lining Health
  • Protein Fermentation
  • Gas Production
  • Active Microbial Delivery
Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think 31

I clicked on “Inflammatory Activity.” The report showed a summary, the nutrients supporting this subscore, a list of metabolic pathways, and other details.

Again, the language and terms used in these reports are vague and complicated. Viome could have made them more reader-friendly. 

My Microbiome Activity

This report contains all the microorganisms (like bacteria, fungi, and viruses) Viome found in my stool sample. I accessed this report under the “Results” submenu. 

It’s just a list, though, and no other details are provided. 

Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think 32

More Results With Your Viome Report

I have several unlocked scores which can’t be accessed with just a Gut Intelligence™ test. If you choose to take the Health Intelligence™ test, you can get five additional scores besides Gut Microbiome Health. 

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How Much Does Viome Testing Cost?

  • Gut Intelligence Test — $199 standard price ($129 discounted)
  • Health Intelligence Test — $299 standard price ($199 discounted)

Add-On Costs: Viome Supplements

  • Precision Probiotics + Prebiotics — costs $59.95/month as add-on to Gut Intelligence Test.
  • Precision Supplements Complete — costs $199/month as add-on to Health + Gut Intelligence Test.

Viome Reviews — How It Compares to Other Gut Microbiome Tests

Viome Pros

  • Identifies a wide range of microorganisms—bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, probiotics, and viruses
  • Provides personalized reports and recommendations
  • Updates results with new research and improved AI algorithms

Viome Cons

  • Sample collection may be uncomfortable
  • Too technical language and vague explanations
  • Non-FDA-approved tests
  • Recommendations are sorted and selected by Viome’s AI

Ombre vs. Viome Review

Like Viome, Ombre (formerly Thryve) analyzes stool samples. It also provides a gut health Score, personalized food plans, and customized probiotics. 

One area where Ombre lags behind Viome is that it only measures gut bacteria. Viome is more comprehensive as it looks for more microorganisms. 

Ombre’s reports are more straightforward, while Viome’s are on the complex side. The good thing is Viome’s reports have more details, although the company doesn’t explain the concepts well enough. 

Biohm vs. Viome Review

Like Viome, Biohm provides a gut score, an analysis of the microbial populations in your gut, and personalized recommendations. Biohm also sells supplements.

The two companies’ primary difference lies in their sequencing technologies. Biohm focuses on DNA; Viome is on RNA. This affects Biohm’s accuracy, as DNA testing doesn't distinguish between living and dead organisms.

Lastly, Biohme only analyzes bacteria and fungi. Viome looks at more types of microbes.

Viome Reviews — I Took The Gut Test and Here’s What I Think 20

Viome Health + Gut Intelligence™ Test

Is Viome Worth It?

Viome provides gut microbiome analysis and personalized food and supplement recommendations. These services can help you change your diet and lifestyle, ultimately leading to optimal gut health

Still, there is uncertainty about Viome’s gut microbiome tests. They are not  FDA-approved, although no similar tests have garnered FDA approval. Moreover, recommendations are made by AI, not by doctors or nutritionists.    

Nevertheless, gut microbiome tests (like Viome’s) have much potential. Many studies have already linked the gut microbiome to several health aspects, sparking interest in testing.  

You can use Viome’s tests to see what food or food ingredients you should minimize or avoid. Then discuss the information with a healthcare professional and create a health plan tailored for your needs.

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Resources

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  1. Viome Products.Viome. Accessed April 7, 2022.
  2. Viome Privacy Policy.Viome. Accessed April 7, 2022.
  3. Mills, Susan et al. “Precision Nutrition and the Microbiome Part II: Potential Opportunities and Pathways to Commercialisation.Nutrients vol. 11,7 : 1468. 
  4. Chaikijurajai, Thanat, and W. H. Wilson Tang. “Gut Microbiome and Precision Nutrition in Heart Failure: Hype or Hope?Curr Heart Fail Rep vol. 18,2 : 23-32.
  5.  Ren, Zhigang et al. “Gut microbiome analysis as a tool towards targeted non-invasive biomarkers for early hepatocellular carcinoma.Gut vol. 68 : 1014-1023.
  6. Connell, Janelle et al. “Evidence-based precision nutrition improves clinical outcomes by analyzing human and microbial molecular data with artificial intelligence.” bioRxiv 2021.04.24.441290. April 26, 2021.
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