When Kiefer’s Gut Shield was first released I was initially skeptical given his previous stance on the microbiome, namely that if you become healthy, your gut flora will in turn become healthy. If you are unhealthy, then your gut flora will be unhealthy. Eating low carb and Carb Nite will make you healthier and in turn make your gut healthier.
He didn’t think there was any need to do anything other than eating low carb and Carb Nite… and next he’s marketing a prebiotic and probiotic.
I bought a 1 month supply for $119.95 + $7.30 for shipping and designed a brief experiment:
- Take a pre-intervention uBiome sample to see where my gut biome stands.
- Take a 30 day supply of Gut Shield.
- Take a post-intervention uBiome sample to see what changes if any occurred.
- Document any other changes like improved mood, decreased cholesterol, increased fat burning, improved hay fever etc.
While I’ve followed through on all the above steps of my experiment, the reason I haven’t written a followup post is because there was an issue with my pre-intervention uBiome sample.
This is an email I got from uBiome on March 5, 2017:
My sample was ‘flagged’ for quality checks which ‘typically happens when a sample has a lower than normal concentration of bacterial DNA’ and typically ‘occurs due to sampling error.’ They’re supposedly re-running the sample for analysis.
As of the writing of this post on 5/24/17 this is the status of my sample:
I submitted this initial sample on 1/15/17 and it’s still in ‘processing’ status.
Despite actually having the post-intervention results in hand, I didn’t feel like I could write anything because without the results of the pre-sample, how can I draw any conclusions from the post-sample?
However, since there’s enough interest out there, I figure I’ll share what I have anyways. Once the sample from 1/15/17 is available I can write a followup post.
Brief Summary of Gut Shield
Before we dive in to the uBiome results, let’s quickly review what Gut Shield is. A 30 day supply consists of two bottles that contain 90 capsules each. You’re instructed to take 3 capsules of prebiotic each day and 3 capsules of probiotic each day.
The 6 capsules will provide Kiefer’s proprietary blend of:
1. Proteases – Enzymes that will break down gluten and other gut irritants
2. Prebiotic – Fructo-oligosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides which will feed beneficial gut bacteria
3. Probiotic – A combination of beneficial gut bacteria including Lactobacilus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Bifidobacterium longum.
uBiome Results After 30 Days of Gut Shield
Since the results from my January 2017 pre-Gut Shield sample still aren’t available, I’ll be comparing the results to my first uBiome test from April 2016.
Let’s look at what the uBiome showed!
Body weight bacteria match: Moderate, which is the same as in April 2016.
Probiotics match: Low, also unchanged since April 2016.
Diversity percentile: 40th, which improved from 28th.
Most uncommon bacteria: Aggregaticbater. When I saw this bug I recognized it immediately from my MyPerioPath oral biome tests! I had high amounts of this guy in my initial MyPerioPath test and managed to get the numbers lower after 8 months of improved oral hygiene. Now it looks like he’s in my gut!
Previously the most uncommon bacteria was Raoultella.
Bacteroidetes are correlated with weight loss and leanness, so I want to have more of them in my body.
Firmicutes are seen more in obesity, so I want to have less of them in my body.
Ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes: 1.2 : 1, which has increased from April 2016 when it was 0.5 : 1 (lower is better).
Looks like for whatever reason my Bacteroidetes population has gone down while my Firmicutes has increased! Interestingly, my weight has remained stable at around 195 lbs.
Again I have zero Akkermansia which iscorrelated with reduced inflammation and overall improved metabolic health. I just can’t seem to get this guy to grow, and it looks like the oligosaccharides in Gut Shield weren’t enough.
In my April 2016 uBiome sample I had absolutely ZERO populations of either Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus and now they’ve both gone up, 0.06x for Bifido and 0.03x for Lacto. If you’ll remember, these are the two primary types of bacteria in Gut Shield.
I’m now in the 40th percentile of the population… up from 28th, and still right smack dab in the middle of the bell curve. While I can definitely try to eat more fiber, I don’t think I can exercise any more than I do already.
I still don’t know what to do with this informatino, but I do get a kick out of the fact that there’s a bacteria named Shuttleworthia.
Mood, Cholesterol, and Allergies?
I didn’t notice any changes in any of the above. My hay fever still sucked-ass, my LDL-P remained in the 1700-1800s, and my mood remained steady.
Like I said from the beginning, without the results from my pre-intervention sample, I can’t really conclude anything about Gut Shield in regards to changes in my gut bacteria.
What we DO know is that my gut biome changed since April 2016 with a worsened Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio, improved populations of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and a stubbornly absent Akkermansia population.
We can’t say for certain whether these changes are a result of Gut Shield or any of the various changes I’ve made in since April, like eating Whole 30 or something else.
Despite not being able to draw any real conclusions, knowing what we know so far… do you think Gut Shield is worth the $119.95 per month?
I’m inclined to say no at this point.
I promise to post a followup once uBiome finishes analyzing my missing sample!
If you’re interested in getting your own uBiome done, you can use this link for 15% off.