Where Can I Get My Gut Microbiome Tested? (2023)

Where Can I Get My Gut Microbiome Tested? (1)

Excitement around the gut microbiome and its capabilities is growing, but how do you know what yours ‘looks’ like? The simple way to find out is to do a gut microbiome test at home. You may display symptoms such as bloating, gas or discomfort which may point towards an imbalance in your gut, but you can’t really pinpoint the exact cause. That’s where gut microbiome testing could help.

Microbiome testing measures the abundance of bacteria and other microbes within your gut via a stool sample. This may be something your doctor offers you if you present to their surgery with symptoms, but there has been an increase in at home gut microbiome test kits, meaning you can conveniently get a test from the comfort of your own home.

In this article, we’ll explore the different gut microbiome test kits available, what they can tell you, and if they are really effective.

What is the gut microbiome?

But first, let’s quickly recap what the gut microbiome is. The gut microbiome is a tiny ecosystem residing in your gastrointestinal tract but predominantly in your colon. It consists of trillions of microorganisms – archaea, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and others that together make up the microbiome[i].

The gut microbiota – all of the organisms in the gut – is essential for the digestion of certain foods and has a major impact on our overall health and disease status. These microbes protect you from pathogens, build your immune system, breakdown specific foods into useable metabolites, and can affect many physiological functions[ii].

When in balance, your gut microbiome can do wonderful things for you, but an imbalance, called dysbiosis, can cause various negative health effects.

What is a gut microbiome test?

A gut microbiome test can give you an insight into the composition of your gut microbiome; what microbes are residing there and the effect they have on your health. Gut microbiome testing uses a small sample of your poo (you might have heard it called a stool if you’ve ever been asked to provide a sample by a medical professional).

The test comes with all the instructions and kit you need to conduct the test at home. Often you’ll receive a special container to pop your sample in to before sending to the laboratory for testing. It’s all pretty quick and simple.

Once in the lab, the DNA within your sample is extracted and sequenced using specialist equipment. Doing this enables scientists to determine the composition of your gut microbiome.

What methods do gut microbiome tests use?

Although there are others such as qPCR and metagenomics, there are two main methods uses to sequence DNA in gut microbiome tests; deep shotgun sequencing and 16S rRNA tests.

Deep shotgun sequencingworks by breaking down or chopping DNA into small pieces, sequencing (or reading) them all and then stitching them all back together again to give a clearer picture of your microbiome. It’s like putting a puzzle back together again.

It means that scientists can identify or ‘see’ thousands of different microbes within the gut including bacteria, viruses, fungi and more. The deep shotgun method can identify many different microbes and their genetic material, so it can also identify some of the potential functions of specific genes and even new species[iii].

16S rRNA sequencingmethods are also used in gut microbiome tests but are unable to tell which individual species of bacteria are residing in your gut. Neither can they show you all the individual genes and their functions. It had been the ‘gold standard’ for sequencing and analysing bacteria for decades[iv].

The main difference between the two is shotgun sequencing can analyse all metagenomic DNA in a sample while 16S only analyses 16S rRNA genes. For this reason, deep shotgun sequencing based tests are often more expensive because they typically require more ‘reads’ per sample[v]. So, it is important that you purchase a test from a reputable company.

Despite the turnaround time being slightly longer, deep shotgun sequencing is highly accurate, sequences an extensive proportion of the microbial world, and at a much higher resolution.

Here is a comparison of deep shotgun sequencing and 16S rRNA sequencing, image provided by TinyHealth:

Where Can I Get My Gut Microbiome Tested? (2)

Why should I test my gut microbiome?

In short, gut microbiome testing enables you to closely monitor the impact of your lifestyle on the composition and health of your colonic ecosystem. Receiving a report about your microbiome allows you to make informed decisions to help you promote the good bacteria in your gut and lessen the impact of pathogens and bad gut bugs.

Knowing what micro-organisms make up your gut microbiome can be a good step to understanding your overall health. A test may also help you to identify the cause of symptoms or problems you may be experiencing, such as bloating, gas or food intolerances. But you’ll need to follow up with a doctor to determine the exact cause.

Regular gut microbiome testing can also show you how your body is reacting to supplements. For example, it can give you a before and after view of your gut microbiome when you start using Layer Origin’s PureHMOs®. Take a look at how PureHMOs® impacted bacteria strains using a gut microbiome test.

Where can I get my gut microbiome tested?

Before rushing off and buying an at-home gut microbiome test, it’s important that you do some research first. At present, home microbiome tests are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you’re looking to by a stool test, check the company who supplies the kit discloses important information like what methods they use to analyse your poop, if the methods are backed by science, what you can expect to find out and when as well as checking out their customer reviews.

Here are a few companies who currently offer gut microbiome testing.

Ombre ($99.99) - Good Value

The Ombre Gut Microbiome Health Test Kit uses 16S rRNA to sequence the genes in your gut microbiome. They claim that the test can “determine the total abundance and distribution of bacteria in your stool sample.”[vi] The test only analyses the bacteria present in your gut and test for over 10,000 species, showing you only the ones that are statistically significant.

Where Can I Get My Gut Microbiome Tested? (3)

Tinyhealth ($199.00) - Great Accuracy

Tinyhealth is slightly different because they provide the first at-home gut health test designed for mums and babies aged 0-3 months. Tinyhealth offer a range of tests for babies, toddlers and children as well as adults. The company use shotgun metagenomics sequencing methods to provide a clearer picture of the gut microbiome.

Where Can I Get My Gut Microbiome Tested? (4)

Biomesight ($214.00) - Great Insight For Your Results

The Biomesight microbiome test gives you a snapshot view of your gut microbiome through the use of 16S rRNA sequencing technology. Like other tests, the Biomesight test measures the relative abundance of bacteria species in your stool sample.

Viome ($149)

Viome’s Gut Intelligence test is the company’s primary gut health test which analyses the microbiome and your digestive health. It uses metatranscriptomics to sequence the RNA in your microbial ecosystem to give you an overall ‘Integrative Functional Health score’ and over 20 other scores for health markers including inflammation, digestive efficiency, and gas production.

Floré ($249.00)

The Floré Gut Microbiome Test uses whole genome sequencing to analyse the composition of your microbiome. Like other tests, it sequences the 16S or 18S rRNA genes; 16S for bacteria and 18S for viruses and eukaryotes. Floré states that the whole test takes approximately five minutes to complete and you should receive your result within one to three weeks.


The interest in and around the gut microbiome is growing, stratospherically some might say. As a result, more private companies are starting to offer at-home gut microbiome tests, some which are more affordable than others and some with increased accuracy.

Gut microbiome testing shouldn’t be considered as the be all and end all when it comes to your intestinal health. Instead, it should be viewed as a stepping stone to understanding your microbial ecosystem rather than an exact diagnostic tool.

At-home test kits are a good way to sneak-peek into your gut and see what secrets it can reveal. This should then help you make informed decisions about your lifestyle and overall health.

You can help to restore the balance in your gut with a little help from Layer Origin’s PureHMOs®.

Written By:

Leanne Edermaniger

A science writer who specialises in human health and enjoys writing about all things related to the gut microbiome.


[i] Brody H. The gut microbiome. Nature. 2020;577(7792).

[ii] Shreiner AB, Kao JY, Young VB. The gut microbiome in health and in disease. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2015 Jan;31(1):69-75. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000139. PMID: 25394236; PMCID: PMC4290017.

[iii] Ruairi Robertson PD. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing: Determining depth [Internet]. Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing: Determining Depth. Microbiome Insights Inc; 2022 [cited 2023Mar29]. Available from: https://blog.microbiomeinsights.com/shotgun-metagenomic-sequencing-determining-depth

[iv] Johnson JS, Spakowicz DJ, Hong B-Y, Petersen LM, Demkowicz P, Chen L, et al. Evaluation of 16S rrna gene sequencing for species and strain-level microbiome analysis. Nature Communications. 2019;10(1).

[v] Peterson D, Bonham KS, Rowland S, Pattanayak CW; RESONANCE Consortium; Klepac-Ceraj V. Comparative Analysis of 16S rRNA Gene and Metagenome Sequencing in Pediatric Gut Microbiomes. Front Microbiol. 2021 Jul 15;12:670336. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.670336. PMID: 34335499; PMCID: PMC8320171.

[vi] Gut Microbiome Health Test [Internet]. Ombre. [cited 2023Mar30]. Available from: https://www.ombrelab.com/products/ombre-gut-health-test


How do I get my gut microbiome tested? ›

A person who orders a microbiome test online needs to mail a stool sample to the company's lab using the testing kit's prepaid envelope. It may take a few days or weeks to receive the results. These should indicate the types of microbes in the sample and any food sensitivities that the person might have.

How much does a gut microbiome test cost? ›

Base priceSubscription available?
Viome Gut Intelligence$139Yes
Tiny Health$199Yes
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Mar 28, 2023

Are gut microbiome tests worth it? ›

Taking care of the microbes in the gut that take care of us is certainly a good idea, but experts caution that at-home gut-health tests won't provide anything more insightful than advice to eat more vegetables, exercise, and reduce stress. “The bottom line: I do not recommend home gut-health tests,” says Lacy.

Can doctors test your gut microbiome? ›

Microbiome testing measures the amount and types of microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, in your gut via a stool sample. While such tests may be conducted in a doctor's office, a rise in at-home health testing has also led to an increase in microbiome testing kits you can complete on your own.

Is microbiome test covered by insurance? ›

In most cases, insurance will cover the GI Effects Diagnostic test. There is payment due at the time of service; depending on which lab the Doctor recommends that will vary from $75-$171. What's the procedure?

How do I know if my gut microbiome is unhealthy? ›

There are a number of common signs that may indicate an imbalance in your microbiome.
  1. Gas, Bloating and Other Stomach Issues. ...
  2. Unintentional Weight Fluctuations. ...
  3. Skin Issues. ...
  4. Moodiness, Irritability and Trouble With Concentration. ...
  5. Fatigue or Insomnia. ...
  6. Sugar Cravings.
Mar 27, 2023

How long does it take to fix gut microbiome? ›

Building a healthy microbiome can take up to 6 months if the correct healthy habits are adopted (diet, exercise, sleep and stress management - and also supplements if needed) however it really is a lifelong journey because you need to continue these habits to maintain a healthy microbiome.

How do I repair my gut microbiome? ›

In this article, we list 10 scientifically supported ways to improve the gut microbiome and enhance overall health.
  1. Take probiotics and eat fermented foods. ...
  2. Eat prebiotic fiber. ...
  3. Eat less sugar and sweeteners. ...
  4. Reduce stress. ...
  5. Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily. ...
  6. Exercise regularly. ...
  7. Get enough sleep.
May 28, 2019

How do I reset my gut health? ›

Resetting Your Gut Health
  1. Eat a wide variety of plant-based foods. ...
  2. Make fiber your friend. ...
  3. Aim for more probiotics. ...
  4. Cut back on sugar and processed foods. ...
  5. Steer clear of artificial sweeteners. ...
  6. Combat the stress in your life. ...
  7. Drink plenty of water. ...
  8. Move your body.

How do you test for an unhealthy gut? ›

4 Ways To Test Your Gut Health
  1. Visual Inspection. This is the first test I will always recommend for determining the health of your gut and digestion. ...
  2. The Beet Test. What the heck is the beet test? ...
  3. Functional Stool Analysis. ...
  4. Lactulose Breath Test.
Nov 1, 2017

What does bad microbiome feel like? ›

The following can be signs of a gut bacteria imbalance: Autoimmune problems, such as thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. Digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn or bloating. Sleep issues.

How do I know if my gut bacteria is healthy? ›

If you're wondering whether your digestive tract may be performing at its best, look for the following signs of a healthy gut: Regular and pain-free bowel movements. Consistent energy. Normal amount of gas and bloating.

Can gut microbiome be restored? ›

Absolutely. Learning how to rebuild gut flora via eating and lifestyle changes can restore your gut bacteria in a few months. Something as simple as taking a daily probiotic supplement can vastly improve your gut bacteria.

What illnesses affect gut microbiome? ›

Nowadays, gut microbiota deviations are linked with many diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hepatic steatosis, intestinal bowel diseases (IBDs) and several types of cancer.

What gut microbiome is FDA approved? ›

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Rebyota, the first fecal microbiota product approved by the agency. Rebyota is approved for the prevention of recurrence of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in individuals 18 years of age and older.

What doctor treats microbiome? ›

Find a gastroenterologist who can take the time to help you optimize your gut microbiome for your best health.

What microbiome therapy is FDA approved? ›

In November 2022, Ferring Pharmaceuticals's Rebyota became the first FDA-approved microbiome-based therapeutic to treat recurrent CDI. But the approval came through after an FDA Advisory Committee meeting.

What naturally kills bad bacteria in the gut? ›

An anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise, good quality sleep, and probiotics are all strategies to put in place before trying antimicrobials or antibiotics to get rid of bad bacteria.

What are the 7 signs of an unhealthy gut? ›

Here are seven of the most common signs:
  • Upset stomach. Stomach disturbances can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. ...
  • A high sugar diet. ...
  • Unintentional weight changes. ...
  • Sleep disturbances or constant fatigue. ...
  • Skin irritation. ...
  • Autoimmune conditions. ...
  • Food intolerances.

What are the 3 super foods for your gut? ›

The Best Superfoods For Gut Health
  • Leafy Greens. Leafy greens are a powerful prebiotic and are high in vitamins C, K, B complex, folic acid, beta carotene, iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulphur and chlorophyll. ...
  • Asparagus. ...
  • Oats. ...
  • Greek Yoghurt. ...
  • Apples. ...
  • Ginger.

What foods heal gut microbiome? ›

Probiotic foods contain beneficial live microbiota that may further alter one's microbiome. These include fermented foods like kefir, yogurt with live active cultures, pickled vegetables, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut.

How can I clean my gut naturally? ›

Some ways you can do this are:
  1. Hydrate Yourself. Sipping on at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day is essential for your overall health. ...
  2. Saltwater Flush. Saltwater flush is commonly used as a colon cleansing method and has a laxative effect. ...
  3. Juices & Smoothies. ...
  4. Fiber-Rich Diet. ...
  5. Probiotics. ...
  6. Ginger.
Aug 30, 2022

How can I reset my gut bacteria naturally? ›

What is a 3-day gut reset?
  1. removing foods that feed harmful bacteria and cause inflammation.
  2. introducing plenty of prebiotic foods, which feed beneficial bacteria.
  3. encouraging healthful practices, such as getting enough sleep and exercise and staying hydrated.
Oct 27, 2020

Is apple cider vinegar good for gut health? ›

Raw apple cider vinegar also contains: Natural probiotics (friendly bacteria), which may help with your immune system and gut health. Antioxidants, substances that can prevent damage to your body's cells.

What can I drink for gut microbiome? ›

  • Ginger Tea.
  • Lemongrass Tea.
  • Peppermint tea.
  • Fennel tea.
  • Coffee.
  • Water.

What are the symptoms of bad bacteria in the stomach? ›

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Bloating.
  • An uncomfortable feeling of fullness after eating.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Unintentional weight loss.
  • Malnutrition.
Jan 6, 2022

Does fasting reset your gut? ›

Fasting during prolonged periods gives the gut the time it needs to restore its integrity. This is especially important for those with “leaky gut”, also called intestinal permeability, where the gut lining is weakened thereby allowing toxins, partially digested foods and pathogens to enter the bloodstream.

What alcohol is good for your gut bacteria? ›

But let's get specific: according to Healthline, moderate red wine consumption has been shown to somewhat improve helpful gut bacteria populations due to the fact that it contains polyphenols, a type of plant compound that gets broken down (or “eaten”) by gut bacteria.

What are five signs of an unhealthy gut? ›

Frequent discomfort, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn could be signs that your gut is having a hard time processing food and eliminating waste.

Does anxiety affect gut microbiome? ›

Extensive research has demonstrated that diet, drugs and stress influence both composition and function of gut microbiota, which in turn can modulate neurophysiology and behavior.

How do I detox my guts? ›

Drink plenty of water. - Organic source chlorella is a great way to detoxify the system. Stir in smoothies or juice, or sprinkle over cereals and fruit salads. - Use fresh root ginger in your cooking, which soothes and heals the gut.

How can I heal my gut in 2 weeks? ›

You can get probiotic bacteria from a high-quality supplement like FlowFlora for example or through naturally fermented foods like Kimchi, Kefir, and some yogurts. Add more vegetables like Artichokes, Asparagus, and Dandelion Greens for prebiotic fiber, or take a supplement that has both probiotics and prebiotics.

What foods should be avoided for gut health? ›

The 6 Worst Foods for Gut Health
  • Refined Sugar. There are plenty of good reasons to minimize refined sugar intake. ...
  • Factory-Farmed Meat. ...
  • Refined Grains. ...
  • Artificial Sweeteners. ...
  • Too Much Saturated Fat. ...
  • Fried Foods.

Are eggs good for gut health? ›

As part of a balanced diet, eggs contribute to a healthy digestive tract and can be helpful during acute digestive problems. In addition to being packed with nutrients, eggs are usually easy to digest compared to some other high-protein foods, such as meat and legumes.

What autoimmune diseases are caused by microbiome? ›

Scientists have now implicated the gut microbiome in numerous autoimmune conditions, including lupus, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

How do I reset my gut microbiome? ›

Gut resets aim to restore the balance of the microbiome by:
  1. removing foods that feed harmful bacteria and cause inflammation.
  2. introducing plenty of prebiotic foods, which feed beneficial bacteria.
  3. encouraging healthful practices, such as getting enough sleep and exercise and staying hydrated.
Oct 27, 2020

Is GI MAP test worth it? ›

The GI-MAP is an extremely valuable tool in understanding your personal health needs. An impressive volume of scientific research shows that gut health is key in maintaining proper immune, hormonal, neurological, endocrine, and metabolic function.

What foods repair gut microbiome? ›

Probiotic foods contain beneficial live microbiota that may further alter one's microbiome. These include fermented foods like kefir, yogurt with live active cultures, pickled vegetables, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut.

How expensive is a GI-MAP test? ›

GI-MAP Test price: $389*

Is GI-MAP test FDA approved? ›

The GI-MAP method has been validated and FDA-cleared for the measurement of these organisms.

How much is the GI-MAP test? ›

Salivary Antibodies$369
Food Immune Panel$610
Wheat/Gluten Immune Panel$355
Gluten Cross Reactive Food Panel$255
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