Biome testing in Australia?

  • posted by Kaje
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    Hello fellow friends. Do we yet know a reputable and recommended Biome testing company in Australia that we can get our gut biome tested?

  • posted by Pia Winberg
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    Hi Kaje

    Australia doesn’t have an easy consumer facing testing facility yet. But you can just go onto website like ubiome and buy from the USA. The freight is not prohibitive. If you are interested and eligible there will be a new gut health clinical study starting next month here and that will involve 4 gut health samples following a wash out treatment using seaweed capsules and placebos, run by the University of Wollongong. The recruitment criteria are BMI 25-30 and preferable with a psoriatic type skin disorder. Contact bmeyer@uow.edu.au if you are interested.
    Otherwise just buy a kit form ubiome – simple.
    cheers
    Pia

  • posted by Erukus
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    Hi Pia,

    I don’t think it is that simple because UBiome does not service outside the US. It specifically mentions in the book for Australian tests to check this website. Is there any other info aside from this?

    Thanks

  • posted by Kaje
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    Hi Erukus
    We ordered 2 kits from uBiome in the US and they are sending to Australia no problems. It just cost an extra $20. Kaje

  • posted by Gigi60
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    I found this Australian company that does faecal testing for $220 for the CDSA5 test which is very thorough. They send you a home kit which you post back
    http://www.nutripath.com.au

  • posted by silverslippers
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    Hi Gigi60, thats fantastic! I purchased the book a week ago and saw Dr Mosley on Insight last Tuesday. I’m recovering from a bad flare-up of gastritis and as much as possible following the re-boot but with FODMAP overlay .. it severely curtails what you can eat. The faecal test is a great place to start. I’ve been looking everywhere. Great work. Thanks for the post !! I am absolutely considering going to USA to do the Day Two personalised nutrition plan.

  • posted by jw7
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    Hey good topic.
    The nutripath lab sounds open and clear and they have sample reports which are helpful but…
    They seems to test for 5 bacteria in their DNA test (Faecal Multiplex PCR), and 9 (+ other) in their CDSA tests.
    This is not what i was expecting after reading Mosley’s book. He spoke about broad groups of bacteria like: Fermicutes, Akkermansia.

  • posted by jw7
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    Ok so i just found this mob who promise “The percentage of the types of bacteria in your gut”.
    https://www.smartdna.com.au/

    Anyone have any experience of their service?

  • posted by MenoMe
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    I have worked with SmartDNA in the past for other genetic testing (fitness/mental health/detoxification profiling). They are extremely experienced and the testing concentrates on areas that can be influenced by diet and lifestyle. There is a practitioner webinar starting this week on the gut. I expect it to be informative.

  • posted by CJLT
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    SmartDNA looks interesting. I have tried to find a costing for the microbiome test but it isn’t on their website. I will attempt to call tomorrow. My GP gave me a path request for a company called Bioscreen based in Yarraville, Victoria. Their cost is $348 for a faecal microbial analysis which promises quantification of both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and yeasts. It seems excessive so I am still searching…

  • posted by JNSD
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    Just looked at uBiome as would like to use them but seems like they don’t offer the SmartGut™ service outside of the USA: https://ubiome.com/go/smartgut-pilotprogram But they do offer other tests internationally here: https://ubiome.com/explorer

    This is the difference between the two: https://ubiome.com/smartgut-compare

    Issue is I have Ulceric Colitis and would really like the SmartGut™ test… Any recommendations in Australia? I have seen a specialist, but he’s a ‘traditional’ specialist that has just prescribed medication, not even asked about gut health etc so I need to find answers myself. Simply don’t believe that there is no link between the gut / diet and issues like UC and Chrones.

  • posted by GrahamSPhillips
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    All: I can’t talk with any authority about what’s available in Australia. But you need to be certain what you are getting. A one-page summary with no interpretation simply doesn’t provide sufficient information or interpretation to be meaningful or helpful. I would look at the type and quality of information that DAYTWO or map my gut provide and ask your local providers if they can more-or-less match that. If not you’ll be wasting your money

  • posted by Robyn363
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    Hi All,
    the info I heard was the poop testing company was going to start up here in Australia….and kits would be available at certain pharmacies, can anyone confirm this please ?

  • posted by GrahamSPhillips
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    The studies certainly seem to show dysbiosis (disruption of the microbiome) in ulcerative colitis. Maybe in future this will be treated with fecal matter transfer (currently the commonest application is for extreme food poisoning unresponsive to anti biotics but who knows what the future holds). Obviously UC is a severe and distressing condition. In your case I’d seek out a gastroenterologist who knows about the microbiome. They are out there – you just have to do a lot of googling to find them !

  • posted by JNSD
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    Agree that finding a good Gastroenterologist that is knowledgeable in the microbiome is what I am after. The one I have regardless of how many times I mention diet doesn’t budge. Just more tablets and enemas. I’ve had it, three years in now and I have to take it more seriously by getting to the root of the problem. I simply don’t believe that I can go through 38 years of health then this happens for no reason. Got to be in the gut!

    Anyhow, hard to find consistent information out there, have been trawling the web, reading so many articles and FB groups. Everyone has a different opinion, unfortunately. If anyone out there reading this has been down the path with UC and is using gut biome as the basis for getting better then please let me know!

  • posted by GrahamSPhillips
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    Hi JNSD – would you be happy to share some medical history? How did it start and what meds are you taking ? What is your diet like? You might want to google Prof Ailsa Hart. She is London based but whether she has any contacts in AUS I don’t know. The leading experts in this field tend to know one another..
    Other than that, the recommendations in Michael’s book are sound – just take it slowly and only change one thing at a time

  • posted by JNSD
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    More than happy! Got first flare-up/colonoscopy in Feb 2014. Got put on sulfasalazine initially and then the mesalamine enemas at night for a month only. That calmed things down immediately. I went off all medication as thought “I got this” and things went well for about six-eight months… then… another flare up. I was shocked but went back on the pills and enemas, again, it went away very quickly. Since then I’ve had flare up’s every six months, but unfortunately had a flare up in April so went back on the enemas (have resigned to always taking the sulfasalazine daily now) but as I was about half way through got bitten by a dog, went to hospital for two days and got put on IV drip antibiotics then on a full course at home when discharged. So suffice to say, any gut health I had was destroyed. So I am now in the middle of another flare up so a pretty continual one since April.

    I have started making my own kombucha and took a lot of probiotics to try to get my gut back to where it was since the antibiotics. Have no idea if any of it works.

    About me generally – I work out 3~4 times a week, play ice hockey 4 times a week and drink moderately. (Generally only red wine these days and maybe three times a week) I love a beer, but it seems to really disagree with me these days so was only having two after a Saturday night game and that’s it. I would consider myself extremely fit (any fitter and it should be my job, alas, that ship has sailed!)

    I eat pretty well, low carb, high protein most of the time. However, I do cheat and cheat BAD when in the mood. You name it, it will be consumed sometimes. No surprises that when I drink beer and eat saturated fats the next day(s) are very unhappy times at home!

    I meditate daily and have for 8 years.

    I take a ton of vitamins every day (have been for about 10 years), decaf green tea, garlic, fish oil (super dose), Alpha lipoic acid, B-12, vitamin c (super dose), Ginkgo, ZMA, Methyl Folate, glucosamine…

    First thing when I wake up is to have a protein shake (vegan protein powder now) – http://www.bulknutrients.com.au/products/earth-protein-vegan-protein.html

    I also take creatine whenever I work out or skate and sip BCAA’s in the drink bottle (Xtend).

    It’s a lot, I know. How much is helping, how much is harming? Who knows. All of the above is for performance and health not for UC, maybe that’s half the problem, I keep thinking I don’t have this disease and pretending all is fine.

    I’m at a crossroads, I’ve had it. it’s been going on for too many years now and the more I read about it the more concerned that I am about how serious it actually is.

    If I could go to a paleo / intermitted fasted lifestyle I think it would be the easiest for me given my level of activity. I am finding Michael’s book useful and practical thus far.

    Thanks for taking the time and replying, it’s most appreciated.

    PS: I found this article very interesting, am considering some of it: https://medium.com/the-cure-for-colitis/supplements-for-gut-issues-ibd-and-ibs-how-and-why-they-work-90ad50ee509c

  • posted by GrahamSPhillips
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    Hi JNSD: A more detailed food diary would be helpful; I’m not sure whether the various supplements do more harm than good? Much better to get the diet right in most cases than try to correct it by supplementation (with the odd exception). I ‘d drop the supplements one-by-one and only resume them if there’s a palpable deterioration when you do. IMPORTANT: don’t make lots of changes in one go because you won’t know which changes(s) produced an effect (good or bad). Other than the excellent advice in Michael’s book I’d definitely consider the 5:2 (Fasting) diet which is profoundly anti-inflammatory. Good luck!

  • posted by Vibka
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    About SmartDNA: They referred me to a naturapath in Melbourne who does Skype consultations, which is great for me as I live in the northeast of Victoria. She sent me the test kit and on the 27th July I took a poo sample and posted it. Since I didn’t hear from SmartDNA at all, I called them 2 weeks later to hear whether they had received the sample. I know Australia Post is slow these days, but that slow? Anyway, on 14th August they finally debited $330 from my visa card (so obviously they received the sample) and since then I have heard nothing. I know it’s supposed to take about 6 weeks (so that was yesterday), and I have been waiting patiently. I have sent an email to the naturopath and hope to hear from her soon to get a result. So in a nutshell, there’s a test available in Australia, but you have to be patient. 🙂

  • posted by Bunjee
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    Hi JNSD,
    My younger brother was diagnosed with UC at 19 (now 26). He managed to get his gut symptoms into remission by combining the traditional drug therapy with a diet called The Specific Carbohydrate diet (based on gut health and promoting good bacteria in the gut). He has maintained the diet continuously and believes this to be the main cause of his remission. The diet involved gradual removal of gluten, lactose and all processed meats, as well as anything with high pesticide readings, artificial colours and additives. He makes everything from scratch and although time consuming, it has meant he has quality of life again. Not sure if you suffer from the secondary effects of the condition, that include calcification of cartilage and arthritic symptoms… he has found that the diet helped with this too. I can’t recall his gastroenterologist but his rheumatologist is prof. stephen hall (in melbourne).

  • posted by JPRJ
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    Hi Vibka,

    Have you received your test report from SmartDNA & is it readable/interpretable by us laymen?
    And what of the interpretation & advice provided by their recommended Naturapath?
    As it’s an expensive exercise, I’d appreciate your feedback before doing the same.

    I also note that another company, Microba, are due to provide a similar service by the end-2017. I understand they’re a commercial offshoot of UQ (University of Queensland). Google will find them.

  • posted by Vibka
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    Hi JPRJ,
    I have received my test result via the naturopath (8 weeks turn around) and I probably could read it without her help, but then I wouldn’t know how to fix it. I had a 40 minute consultation with her and she gave me some nutritional advice and prescribed some Metagenics products that cost me over $ 200, so all up with the two consultations I spent close to $750. But, with all this and following Michael’s guidelines in the book and the naturopath’s recommendations my gut is improving. I can tolerate more things without getting severe wind pain and creating methane. But mostly I still stick to the low FODMAP diet and hardly eat dairy or gluten. I’m just sneaking a bit in here and there and it seems to be fine. I just want to give my gut more time to recover.

  • posted by JPRJ
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    Hi Vibka,

    Thanks for the feedback. Glad to hear the SmartDNA option works, albeit expensive.
    I’ve just heard that the new outfit Microba are not launching until early 2018.

    BTW….Tuesday, October 17th at 8:30pm (AEST) the ABC Catalyst program will be airing a new two-part series on the gut microbiome and gut health. It should be an interesting watch!

  • posted by Elycia
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    There was a show on abc catylist tonight was very good about gut health they had testing at microba but i dont think they are doing tests until 2018. Have a look into them.

  • posted by ajkt
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    After watching the Catalyst show I’ve been exploring gut biome testing in Australia and came across this forum. As I read through it I saw the comments about Nutripath and when I checked their website I found they gave much the same info as was covered in the Catalyst report including the GI Microbiome. Has anyone had a more recent experience with them, given the comments above seem to suggest problems with the other suppliers?

  • posted by DP22
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    I’ve just sent an email to: https://www.microba.com.au/home to see if they are testing yet.
    They have a testing procedure that doesn’t rely on the outdated 16S rRNA gene amplification method, although I put my name on their mailing list this time last year and never heard back. They are based in Brisbane.

  • posted by Ness165
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    Hi. There is a new company called Allele who are now doing it in Australia. Their sister company (of sorts I think) is Nourish Me Organics who sell kefir grains etc and they have a very informative Facebook group.

  • posted by debbiethompson68
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    Hi I went to the nutripath website and typed in CDSA5 test and no results. I looked at all the test available for gut health and there were over 20 – how do I know which one to choose. Thanks for your help. Debbie

  • posted by debbiethompson68
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    Hi you can now preorder the kits from microba- they should be sent in June this year. It seems that although they are expensive at $419 Microba Insight™ is the only test in Australia that gives you the whole picture. While other services use 16S rRNA testing, which only sequences a small part of a single bacterial gene, Microba uses metagenomics, which sequences all the genes from the microorganisms in your sample. Its hard to compare like with likewith all the other testts available and $419 is a lot of money- a lot more than other tests. Any thoughts?
    thanks

  • posted by Firefox7275
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    DebbieThompson68: You might select a service based on the recommendation of a medical professional (registered dietician/ gastroenterologist/ GP or pharmacist up on the research) OR on the company’s partners (Major university? Teaching hospital?) OR the founders’ credentials (experts Prof Tim Spector + Dr Jeff Leach + Prof Rob Knight = American + British Gut Projects).

    Higher cost may indicate a better quality or more personalised interpretation, considering *your* medical history. BUT do remember that this field is new and research is ongoing. Analysis is not a shortcut or alternative to your detailed food and symptom diary (p.187 + p.266-267) and advice of the aforementioned medical professionals.

    HTH!

  • posted by debbiethompson68
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    Firefox7275 thank you so much for that. I will take you up on that and report back.

  • posted by Vibka
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    Hi Debbie,
    I went with SMART DNA, but they referred me to a naturopath for an initial consultation and then she prescribed the microbiome test. Once the result came back we had another consultation and she then told me, that the microbiome test confirmed what I had told her. So the microbiome test wasn’t really necessary and I could have saved a lot of money. Since then I have consulted with Diedre at Naturally Dynamic Health in Albury (https://www.naturallydynamichealth.com/), who stated that the microbiome tests are not very reliable yet and that a good naturopath can help you balancing your microbiome without a test. So perhaps you might find someone in your area and save yourself a lot of money.
    Cheers,
    Vibka

  • posted by GrahamSPhillips
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    I can’t vouch for SMART DNA, but I can vouch for the testing (if properly done) – but it needs someone skilled in interpreting. Bear in mind that there is no set qualification or quality control for “naturopaths” – albeit I’m certain some are superb while others? Not so much.. But this betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the Microbiome. Its almost always counter-intuitive and varies by individual. For example, having gone to Israel and having subscribed to the DAYTWO app, I now know that artisanal rye bread, which I adore and which I believed to be a healthy option, is an absolute “no no” for me – it spikes insulin. How would anyone know that without the microbiome analysis?

  • posted by Vibka
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    Hi Graham,
    If you read the book “Grain Brain” by Dr. David Perlmutter, you would know that all grain that contains gluten will cause your pancreas to produce more insulin. That book is much cheaper than microbiome testing. It’s fine for people who have enough spare cash to do such a test, but I don’t think it is really necessary to test the microbiome. But that’s only my experience. 🙂

  • posted by GrahamSPhillips
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    Hi Vibka – that’s not what the science says. Perlmutter may have a general point and he’s probably right ON AVERAGE but very few people are average. That’s why we’ve ended up with a type2 diabetes epidemic- giving everyone standardised advice (based on flawed science). Don’t believe me? Read this!
    https://www.daytwo.com/blog/what-bread-is-healthier-white-whole-wheat/

  • posted by Gigi60
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    If this was the case then all who follow a gluten free diet should be fine. I have 3 Coeliacs in my family and all have been on a gluten free diet for over 20 years and all still have gut issues.

  • posted by TanyaWonders
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    Hello,
    Has anyone had any experience with Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney? They seem to do testing but whether it covers all the things that Day Two does, I don’t know. Also, it seems that you have to have a standard digestive medical problem (IBS, Crohns, etc) to be referred and want to be tested. I have some neurological issues and general health concerns and I am not sure if they might think I’m on a fishing expedition and that this is less valid than a person who has a chronic digestive illness. I heard Dr Mosley on ABC radio just last week saying we should all just be tested by sending off a sample to the US and it is a bit frustrating that he says this but it is still not possible.

  • posted by Lizzie12
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    Hey Tanya
    Yes, the CDD at Five Dock are exceptional. I’ve seen Anthony Wettstein, Gastroenterologist, there for over 10 years. He also practices at St Vincent’s in the city. The CDD are world renowned for their ground breaking work. I was diagnosed with parasites (discovered via a biopsy during my regular colonoscopy). The protocol was a mixture of prescribed antibiotics and also a compounding formula that only the CDD’s pharmacy could manufacture. Anthony advised that there was only a 75% the protocol would succeed. I’m thankful to say that it did! We retested via stool sample 6 weeks later and the little buggers had been obliterated! The Centre is very popular, but well run and clean. I regularly have endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures (a day procedure) every 2 years (my uncle had bowel cancer). I would highly recommend them.

  • posted by Ninamilin011
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    Thanks everyone for all the info in this thread! Has anyone heard of Australian Clinical Labs for Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis testing? I have candida overgrowth for over a year now and not much is helping so I think I should do some testing.

    Here’s the link – I’m just not sure if they’re reputable/ experienced?
    https://www.clinicallabs.com.au/shop/gastrointestinal-tract-git-tests/complete-digestive-stool-analysis-cdsa-level-4/

    Keen to hear experience with this company, and if not who else you’d recommend.
    Also do you think CDSA is the way to go or would microbiome testing be better?
    Thanks!!

  • posted by badfoodrising
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    Microba is one of the very few companies that use the new metagenomic sequencing, specifically “full metagenomics” or “shotgun metagenomics” which can detect all the organisms in your gut, such as fungi, archaea, and viruses which the old 16S RNA method used by British Gut/American Gut cannot, it is also apparently much more accurate and will detect more varieties of bacteria than the old method. VIOME uses metatranscriptomics which is similar, unfortunately much more expensive at $399 (+ international postage) than Microba, which is not currently available in the UK. VIOME also seems to have fairly poor reviews.

    https://forum.bulletproof.com/discussion/19973/viome

    https://www.microba.com/frequently-asked-questions/

    “Most other microbiome profiling services use 16S rRNA gene sequencing – a method that only sequences a small portion of a single gene to identify known bacterial groups and leaves out the rest of your microbiome. Results are often biased and not reproducible between different labs. Functional information, that is, what your gut bacteria do, is limited to known bacteria, which misses a large portion of your microbiome.

    Microba uses full metagenomics (also called shotgun metagenomics), the most reproducible, least biased and comprehensive DNA sequencing method to provide you with a high-resolution picture of your gut microbiome. Metagenomics is a powerful tool where all the genes from the microorganisms in your sample are sequenced, allowing you to see not just bacteria, but also fungi, protists, archaea, and viruses. This method also identifies microorganisms at the species or even strain level and reveals what your microbes are capable of doing.”

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