Here are a few common questions – and the answers to them. If you have a question that’s not listed, please get in touch and ask us. (Don’t forget to check out our glossary as well).
New effects are being discovered all the time, but a few things we know about are:
This is an exciting new area of research, but the latest results suggest that regular exercise can lead to a number of changes in the make-up of your gut microbiome. These changes are beneficial to your health and may also help to protect your gut against the adverse effects of endurance exercise (e.g. running a marathon).
There is evidence that regular exercise can increase:
Intense or endurance exercise can have negative effects in your gut, however, including the diarrhoea and cramps that endurance athletes sometimes experience. It may be that the changes to your gut that regular exercise and a healthy diet encourage can help to protect against these negative effects.
Short chain fatty acids are molecules produced by bacteria in your gut that can have a number of health benefits. The bacteria produce them from fibre that your body can’t digest itself. The most important SCFA is butyrate; other common ones include acetate and propionate.
These molecules have a wide range of beneficial effects, both in your gut and throughout your body:
Butyrate is a molecule produced by bacteria in your gut. Made by breaking down fibre that your body can’t digest, it’s the main energy source for cells in your colon, so it’s important that they get enough. It also helps to reduce inflammation. The most important short chain fatty acid in the human gut.
A number of different types of bacteria can produce butyrate. The most important ones are:
Akkermansia muciniphila is believed to be a beneficial species, reducing inflammation, and associated with lower levels of obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. It is believed to increase the thickness of the protective mucus layer in your gut, improving your gut’s barrier function.
Your gut wall acts as a barrier between the contents of your gut and your bloodstream and tissues. Your gut should keep out bad things (like harmful bacteria and toxins) while letting in beneficial nutrients. If this barrier starts to break down, it can cause inflammation and other responses from your body’s immune system.
Your microbes can:
The kit includes full instructions. It’s very quick and easy. Just take a piece of used toilet paper and take a small amount of material onto the tip of the swab we give you. Then pop the swab into the tube, do up the lid, and post the tube back to us in the postage paid box included in the kit.
The price of the kit includes everything needed to do the test: the sampling kit, a postage paid box to return the sample, laboratory analysis, data processing, and the final report. The sampling kit itself includes a swab and tube of preservative, together with full instructions and a consent form.
Yes, perhaps! But your gut microbes weigh about the same as your brain – it’s like a whole organ of your body that affects all kinds of things to do with your health. The great thing is that you can find out what is living in your gut really easily by sampling your stool. Our tests only need a tiny sample and it’s really quick and easy to do.
Everyone’s report is different, but packed with information about your microbiome and gut health. Every report includes information on:
Here’s an example report, but remember, everyone’s microbiome is different!