Your gut microbiome, the trillions of bacteria, viruses, archaea, and fungi that populate your gut are another health data frontier that has opened up in recent years driven by technological advances. An explosion of scientific research has followed, establishing many links between your microbiome and gut, heart, and brain health as well as glucose regulation, to name only a few. While scientists are still in the early stages of understanding these relationships, it is not an overstatement to say that your microbiome plays a critical role in your overall health. So it is no surprise that many direct-to-consumer companies have set out to build solutions to sequence the genetic composition of the microbiome (a practice known as metatranscriptomics) in order to quantify the microorganisms within it and develop health assessments and recommendations.
Should you get your microbiome analyzed? As in the case of aging clocks, this is an area where the science is developing in real-time. Similarly, most of these tests are not exactly cheap. However, if you are troubleshooting stubborn gut health or digestive issues that your doctor has not been able to resolve, or you are just curious to find opportunities for health optimization, it is an intriguing option to ponder. The company that seems to be leading the pack in this front is Viome (no affiliation). They seem to be using the latest generation of metatranscriptomics technology and provide a lot of in-depth information on your health status. They are also currently offering a 50% discount on their tests.