I decided to take the plunge and get my poop analyzed by uBiome. What made me finally go through with this?
Well, I’ve been messaging back and forth with Grace Liu PharmD on Twitter (@Gut_Goddess) and she sent me some goodies from her site, The Gut Institute, that she thought would be helpful in my situation.
Since this was especially kind and generous favor on her part, in return I told her I would bite the bullet and get the uBiome analysis done which she especially loves delving into.
She knows all about each and every one of the gut bugs and is able to throw out study after study specific to each of the critters (just look at her Twitter feed).
I’ve been dragging my feet on doing stool testing because I’m not convinced that any useful data can be gleaned from this at our present state of knowledge (Peter Attia agrees with this and says as much on his most recent appearance on Rhonda Patrick’s Podcast). Grace on the other hand believes otherwise.
Another thing that prevented me from wanting to get my stool tested was the prospect of collecting the sample. I had visions of having to either do my business into a cup (how would I even go about holding it?!) or even worse… having to fish chunks out of the toilet bowl after my business was done (the thought of this is still making me gag right now).
Yes, I’m a physician. Yes, I regularly do enema studies on patients. No, it still doesn’t make the idea of touching excrement any more pleasant.
uBiome offers a one time test for $89 or a “Gut Time Lapse” for $199, which is a set of three tests at a 25% bulk discount.
As you can see, I opted for the 3 pack which would allow me to do a ‘before’ test and an ‘after’ test.
I figure I’d save the third for another experiment down the road… or maybe for the BJJ Cavewife.
What I didn’t know was that there are links floating around that will give you an additional 15% off.. If you’re thinking about doing this at all, make sure you take advantage of these discounts.
A few days after placing the order the three test kits arrived. I had to create an account on the uBiome site and then register the specific kit I was using based on a unique 9 digit code that’s affixed to the packaging.
This is what’s included in each package (Yes, I took this pic while literally sitting on the toilet):
- Prepaid return bubble mailer
- Two test tubes filled with solution
- Two long stem sealed Q-tips
- Ziplock baggy with a paper towel in it for you to seal the test tubes in before placing into the envelope
It’s actually pretty simple and doesn’t involve any of the stuff I was worried about. The reason there are two tubes and two Q-tips are in case you don’t get enough of a sample the first time around, or if you screw up the first collection.
My first collection went just fine, so I went ahead and collected a second sample.
It’s now in the mailbox and we’ll see just what the report tells me.
I guess it’s important to clarify that this sample I sent out, the ‘before’ sample, actually comes on the heels of 6 weeks of VSL#3 probiotic supplementation followed by 2 weeks of no probiotics.
I should mention that the gifts Grace sent me are:
D-Lactate Free Probiotic Powder isn’t something I’d heard of. Apparently this powder contains:
- L. Salivarius
- L. Rhamnosus
- B. Bifidum
- B. Infantis
- B. Longum
The B. Infantis and B. Longum are both in VSL#3, but the other 3 aren’t in anything I’ve taken before.
Instead of taking Berberine as I initially planned to as the next step in my cholesterol experimentation, I’ll take a month long course of these two probiotics recommended by Grace. At the end of the 4 weeks I’ll send out my ‘after’ stool sample AND check my cholesterol.
It’ll definitely be interesting to compare the before and after uBiome test results AND to see what effect if any these probiotics will have on my LDL-P.
Again, if you’re at all considering doing a uBiome test, don’t forget to take advantage of the 15% discount, like I did.