1. My third gut microbiome test results came in this week. I submitted a sample earlier this month to follow methods in the second paper of Improving dietary fiber research in a continuing effort to treat my gut microbiota well.
But that study’s vendor was unable to ship an EU-approved product from The Netherlands to the US because it wasn’t FDA-approved. Our US pets can eat dried chicory root products every day, but we can’t? I haven’t received any positive responses from US vendors of dried chicory root products, so I’ll keep taking up to 10 grams of EU-manufactured inulin daily.
I also followed Dr. Horvath’s suggestion in Epigenetic clocks so far in 2022 to “measure epigenetic age because there’s always an opportunity to make a discovery” and submitted a blood test. Will link to those results when they arrive – How to measure biological age?
2. These gut microbiome test results highlight a 16S ribosomal RNA technology flaw that Resistant starch therapy pointed out:
“Relative abundances of smaller keystone communities (e.g. primary degraders) may increase, but appear to decrease simply because cross-feeders increase in relative abundance to a greater extent.”
Here are my top two relative abundance results, genus Faecalibacterium and genus Bacteroides:
- 25.330% (46,844 total count) of my gut microbiota being a butyrate producer is relatively higher than 22.567% (42,156 total count) 14 months ago. Here’s a review of butyrate’s effects.
- 25% cross-feeder genus Faecalibacterium didn’t relatively crowd out a primary degrader, genus Ruminococcus, which comparatively stayed at 6%. It may have relatively reduced secondary degrader genus Eubacterium abundance from 6% to 5%.
I don’t assign importance per the above graphic that other people achieve 12% relative abundance of a butyrate producer but I have 25%. Our 10,000+ microbiota species perform many overlapping functions.
Conversely, why should I care that other people host an average 25% genus Bacteroides and I relatively have 17% as I did 14 months ago? It’s similar to irrelevant comparisons of clinical biomarkers in Week 120 of Changing to a youthful phenotype with sprouts.
3. So what are appropriate gut microbiome measurements? They aren’t fine-grained relative measurements of my current gut microbiome, either vs. my previous measurements or vs. other people.
I could make a p < .05 finding out of 25.330% vs. 22.567%. But would those numbers be an adequate proxy for understanding truth?
I think science and industry will affordably catch up to these discrepancies as it has with epigenetic clocks. Haven’t come across well-designed gut microbiota studies that use technologically preferable shotgun metagenomic sequencing with absolute measures of both form and function. I’ve read plenty that are stuck in a relative abundance paradigm.
In the meantime, I’m alright, but have to toughen up quickly so that I can transition later this month from summer weather on my sunrise walk every day to a freezing destination.