The test, which is housed at the web address GutTesting.com, is a questionnaire that takes users through a number of panels seeking information on health conditions, diet choices, medical conditions and drug prescriptions and other factors.
Questionnaire validated with data, company claims
While it superficially represents many other such questionnaires in the supplement industry that purport to match users with targeted supplements, Biohm cofounder Afif Ghannoum said the difference is that the scientific validation of the questionnaire. He says the questions are based on more than five years of data collected since his father and company cofounder Mahmoud Ghannoum, PhD, a professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, published an influential paper on the interaction of the fungal and microbial components that contribute to gut dysbiosis. Afif Ghannoum says his father coined the term ‘mycobiome’ and his work has been cited more than 16,000 times.
Originally known as PathoBiome, the company is now known as Biohm Health. It offers supplements and fecal test kits (which sell for $129.99). The younger Ghannoum said the questions on the online gut test were matched with data points gathered from the many consumer fecal tests the company has processed.
“We now have millions of microbiome data points. We are able to predict which factors (such as being overweight, having high cholesterol or high blood pressure or other factors) are predictive of microbiome imbalances. These allow us to tell users whether they are statistically likely to have an imbalanced gut or to have a Candida overgrowth,” he said.
“For example, we found that people who follow a vegetarian diet were significantly more likely to have Candida over-represented in their gut compared to non-vegetarians. We knew we had to democratize this information and empower consumers with a better guide to understanding their microbiome,” he added.
“Personalized nutrition is one of the most exciting areas in wellness, but consumers want to know the insights they’re receiving are derived from real-life clinical data, and advanced data science, not a few random scientific papers,” Ghannoum said.
Participants in the test also receive dietary recommendations to implement as part of a holistic approach to gut health optimization.
Evolving product line
The data collected from those kits has been used to refine the company’s product offerings, the younger Ghannoum said.
The company’s first product was a probiotic blend that purported to balance the fungal and microbial aspects of the human gut. Branded as Biohm Probiotic Blend or Biohm 15B depending on the dosage, the product is a proprietary blend of B. breve, L. rhamnosus, S. boulardi and L. acidophilus probiotic strains and a yeast strain.
More recent product additions included a Super Reds product, which includes the probiotic blend along with beet root powder, pomegranate and açai and other polyphenol rich sources, and Super Greens product that incorporates Spirulina and Chlorella algae.
“The Super Greens has been around for a couple of years now and is our No. 1 seller. The Super Reds has climbed to be our second most popular product,” Ghannoum said.