Viome Reviews – DNA Testing Choice

A few months ago, I stopped eating bananas and apples. I had enjoyed them for years, but DayTwo, one of the new generation of high-tech microbiome tests that I reviewed earlier in NEO.LIFE, said those particular fruits weren’t good for me. Since then, my sleep has improved. Coincidence? Viome Reviews Viome Reviews - DNA Testing Choice Viome Reviews - DNA Testing Choice Viome Reviews

Recently I tried another new microbiome test, from a company called Viome. It agrees that I shouldn’t eat bananas. But Viome says I should have an apple or two every day. Who’s right?

Viome is a gut sequencing subscription service based on a small sample of poo that you ship for testing. Viome then offer dietary recommendations based on your results that are designed to increase your diversity and improve your health.

One of the key differences between Viome and other gut testing services is in the nature of their sequencing methodology. Most services use 16S sequencing which identifies the genus level, while Viome uses Metatranscriptome sequences which identifies down to Species and Strain.

That’s the difference between knowing you have Methanobrevibacter (Genus) or Mathananobrevibacter smithii ATCC 35061 (Species and Strain).

VIOME Review – Is Viome Gut Testing Any Use?

You may like the idea of carrying a list in your pocket of every active strain of bacteria, eukaryote or virus active in your gut but there very quickly becomes a time when you say “and so what?”

You may have Ackermansia Warriorwomanii present in the gut but what does she do – friend or foe? Do I want to encourage her and if so how do I do this?

Which of my bugs is contributing to my obesity or am I missing a strain that would make me whither away if only I could find the right probiotic or risked a transpoosion?

I’m afraid none of that information is available from the Viome gut sequencing service. But perhaps that is just a – not available yet. Viome will constantly be learning and as they get more and more customers they should be able to start correlating specific species with healthy phenotypes. As usual the early adopters get a bit of a raw deal.

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Lots of questions
The out-of-box experience for Viome is pretty elaborate, as befits a $400 test. There are two parts: “gut intelligence” (for sequencing your microbiome) and “metabolic intelligence” (to test your blood sugar). Whereas DayTwo simply asks you to enter the results from your most recent physical, Viome includes an actual glucose meter, with five test strips and lancets, so you can test it yourself at home.

The gut test part is similar to any other gut test, though Viome gives you rubber gloves and a fancy disposable sheet of plastic to cover your toilet while you produce a specimen. As with DayTwo, you scoop out a tablespoon or so and smear it into a plastic vial. Yeah, it’s a little gross if you’re not used to it, and this may be the biggest reason people avoid doing the test. Nothing I can do to help you past this step: you’ll just have to do it.

Then you answer an elaborate online questionnaire that asks about everything from the foods you eat to your stress levels to your willingness to change your lifestyle. Curiously, I found the questions more general and ambiguous than the ones from DayTwo. “Imagine your life without any health issues. What does that look like to you?” “Do you struggle with poor snack choices?” “When was the last time you felt great?” It’s unclear how much these questions matter to the final result — Viome hasn’t published its research methods — but I presume my answers would make it easier for a human nutritionist to tailor any advice spit out by an algorithm.

I slipped my sample into a pre-paid mailer and within a month I had the preliminary results. Actually, the RNA sequencing part was really fast: I had the microbiome breakdown within two weeks. I’m used to other microbiome sequencing labs taking six to eight weeks or more. The recommendations on the other hand, took another three or four weeks, though Viome says the process is now 100 percent automated.

The app is delightfully specific: I have a list of “okay to indulge,” “foods to enjoy,” “foods to minimize,” and “foods to avoid.” Viome says I can eat as much salmon as I like, along with eggs, apples, broccoli, garlic, and more. I should avoid white rice, raisins, couscous, and wheat. And on and on through all the food groups.

Viome’s guidance to the author on foods and common ingredients.
I wasn’t surprised to see both tests agree on which foods are obviously bad for me, like sugar and supposedly healthier alternatives such as maple syrup, honey, or stevia. Both also say I should avoid potatoes, corn, and bananas.

On the other hand, there was plenty of disagreement, and not all of it can be explained by the fact that I took the tests four months apart. DayTwo, whose new ratings rank everything on a scale from 1 to 10, thinks I should enjoy black coffee (excellent, 9.9) and red wine (9.0, very good) but Viome says I should “minimize” them. Both services agree I should limit my beer intake, unless it’s light beer, which DayTwo says is excellent (9.9). DayTwo says I should avoid grains like quinoa because they raise my blood sugar too much, but Viome thinks I can enjoy them as long as they’re whole grain. DayTwo rated tuna and pork as excellent; Viome recommends that I minimize both.

The people behind DayTwo have published extensive and well-reviewed research showing the reasons behind their suggestions. In association with Mayo Clinic, they are conducting large-scale trials that could further establish the benefits of their system. Based on the track records of their founding scientists, I’m comfortable being an early adopter, perhaps getting a few things wrong along the way because I understand that’s how science works.

Viome’s science is less clear. While metatranscriptome sequencing is very cool technology, the cutting edge is easy to get wrong, and so far Viome gives few details to justify its recommendations. Its website boasts a long list of “peer-reviewed scientific articles” that “helped make Viome possible,” but look closer and you’ll see the details are generic publications from unaffiliated researchers, with no hint at the methods used by Viome itself. In public interviews, its founder and CEO, Naveen Jain, says the company licensed a decade’s worth of research at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where government scientists have been studying the underlying technology for its relevance to national defense, presumably to understand protection against biological warfare. Viome responded politely and quickly to all my requests, but it wouldn’t give any scientific documentation for its specific methods, which it says are proprietary. The company also bucks industry practice and explicitly refuses to give customers access to the raw data, making it impossible to double-check its analysis.

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Viome’s nutrition advice was sensible, even without a $400 test.

Not that I found any of Viome’s diet advice to be controversial: limit your overall calories, eat more vegetables, fruits, and nuts. If you’re an unhealthy eater today — a binge drinker, say, or junk food addict — you’ll see huge improvements if you switch to the Viome diet, and perhaps the appeal of a high-tech solution will be enough to push some people out of their bad habits.

Customer Reviews (21)

Unavailable
Next Best Thing >
Horrible Costumer Service
February 7, 2019

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 2 out of 5
2Approved Review
I am still not 100% that the test actually works. While I do feel a little better after working with Viomes guidelines I have also been doing other things they did not recommend to heal my gut. So, either one could be working.
I am very unimpressed by the customer service Viome offers. They told me it would take 3-4 weeks to get my results back after sending in my sample. Over 8 weeks later, I finally got the results in (they recommend doing a retest every 3-4 months so my microbiome was probably already changing by the time I got my results). They emailed me apologizing and said they would send me another retest for free (this was very nice). However, I got no tracking number and over a month later it still hasn’t come in the mail yet. When I emailed customer service, they were very unhelpful and STILL have not sent me a retest they promised. A product that is worth this much money should have much better customer service then what they offer.
The product could work well but I guess I’ll never know.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2019-02-07

DO NOT USE!!
December 30, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
Appalling customer service! I am based in the UK and cannot send the samples to the US, as requested, as our postal service do not accept stool samples posted internationally. So, I have been requesting a refund for the past few weeks, but no response received. I will keep trying, but definitely stay away if you’re based in the UK!

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-12-30

Followed instructions – got sicker – worst customer service
December 29, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
I followed their instructions to the letter for 4 months and felt far sicker by the time I was done. They keep changing their food recommendations to con you into believing that the next diet plan will be the one to make you feel better. Their website, order flow and customer service is an absolute mess. Without exaggeration the worst I’ve ever seen in any business I’ve dealt with. However, when you complain they are always extremely polite and apologetic. Though they promised me in writing a refund they never issued it so I disputed the credit card charges and got my money back. They prey on the hopes and desperation of the chronically ill. There are many people who have lost a lot of weight on their program but the results are not based on individualized science but because they are simply filling up on a diet of mostly vegetables! Their entire premise is flawed anyway because there is no ideal microbiome profile. I’ve since learned that it depends on where your genetic ancestry originates from. For example their are tribes in Africa known for their exceptional digestion however they have no bifidobacteria. Lack of that strain is something Viome would attempt to correct which would simply make those people sick.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-12-29

Awful experience.
December 21, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
Awful experience. Awful customer service or rather no customer service at all – all my attempts at contacting viome have been ignored for weeks now. I have now been waiting for my results for three months. My boyfriend received his results a week ago and they are definitely not worth the 400 dollars paid, the company makes false claimes (eg they do not test for parasites although they claim they do), overall a lot of useless information. I am surprised Dave Asprey (bulletproof) has been advertising it, my suggestion would be for them to promptly disassociate themselves from viome. I do not recommend.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-12-21

Do not waste your money – ripoff!
December 7, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
Their advertising suggests they will give you a list of fungus, parasites and bacteria but I only received a list of bacteria. If I hadn’t contacted them well after my results were due, I would never have received them – they forgot about me. Terrible customer service, rotten product.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-12-07

Awful Company
November 24, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
Terrible company that makes false claims. Worst customer experience I’ve ever received. Been over 2 months, with no results. When you email them they make excuse after excuse. When you pay a premium for a product, you hope to get what you’re told you’re going to get. I am not a person who posts negative experiences often, but these guy take the cake. If you’re looking for a service like this go elsewhere (DayTwo, Ubiome, Etc.). No chance they could be worse than this.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-11-24

Viome Review
October 18, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
After purchasing a Viome kit, registering it, and sending off my sample, I waited for a confirmation of receipt of my sample. Over a week later, I emailed to check on the status. The response was infuriating. I was told by a customer service representative that Viome has suspended all sample processing for an indefinite period of time and that I could collect a refund if I didn’t want to sit around waiting for who knows how long for a service that I just dropped $400 on. First of all, had I not emailed to check on things, would anyone have ever notified me of the delay? More importantly, as an angry yet educated and rational consumer, I highly recommend alerting future customers of this indefinite delay BEFORE they purchase their kit, receive it, register it, and send off a sample. I feel as though the delayed notice on this was intentional, a way to continue accruing customers and thus more profit, since there are likely a few people who will ignore the dilemma and keep their constructive feedback to themselves. Regardless, a massive portion of Viome’s audience includes a wide variety of vulnerable people, desperately seeking a solution for chronic health issues that make every day difficult to endure. They arrive at the Viome website seeking hope and healing that is long overdue. To string people along with the Viome product and through its process, without adequate warning that there will be a significant delay due to circumstances beyond the consumer’s control, is both unprofessional and irresponsible, not to mention inconsiderate. I have lost a great deal of respect for this company. I have never written a review of a product, service, or company before, making this one quite notable. It takes a great deal of disappointment for me to go through the trouble of reviewing a service. In response to my feedback, Viome emailed me a half-hearted, robotic apology. I would urgently recommend considering a different company for your microbiome needs: one that respects its consumers and notifies them of important changes or delays well in advance.

If zero stars were an option, that would be my rating of Viome.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-10-18

Waste of time and money
September 17, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
I took this test as curious to see whether my marginally high HbA1c could be improved by diet, as it had not shifted after 7 months of a low carb, high protein diet and some weight loss
As noted elsewhere, the metabolic testing is no longer part of the kit
Results took about 4 weeks, but I was not notified when they showed up in the app
Really can’t comment on the bacterial counts, but I found the dietary recommendations generic, vague or mystifying
I didn’t’ need to take this test to be told to eat more fiber and greensand fewer carbs, but why are black beans OK and other beans not? Why is the portion of cat fish 2.5 oz and of halibut 5oz?
Also, I had to search each food individually to see whether they were recommended and the food ratings are confusing- what is the difference between superfood and enjoy? Why would you be told to eat fewer superfoods and more of the indulge items
Also, made a recommendation for coconut oil use, which is highly controversial and tried to sell probiotic pills- also of debatable value

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-09-17

Feel 10 years younger since starting Viome
July 29, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 5 out of 5
5Approved Review
Viome has given me a specific plan for eating that has left me feeling more mental clarity, feeling more energetic than I have in years, and losing weight and bloat. The plans gives me a specific prescription for quantities of vegetable, proteins, fruits and grain, along with very detailed information about what foods to maximize and which ones to minimize and avoid. I believe people make a mistake by just thinking about the “avoid” list. We all know what NOT to eat, but my Viome list is like having a designer eating plan outlining what I should eat to feel great. I can not recommend it highly enough.!

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-07-29

I Drank the Koolaid UNFORTUNATELY
July 23, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
This test was of no help whatsoever. It gave me no information and told me to avoid foods that every human being on this earth should avoid. . . are you kidding?? Sugar and flour? What??? Waste of money, don’t do it.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-07-23

Scam
June 6, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
Viome is a scam. Don’t waste your money. I ordered mine and I never got the results. I sent an email and got a response that they was a glitch in the system and they didn’t have my results but would give me three extra months of service for free. I replied twice that I didn’t want more service to something that I never received any results from. They have never replied. So. I wasted $400 and now they won’t respond to my emails to explain why I haven’t received my results or when even to expect them. Total waste. I’ve never written a review like this before but $400 is a lot of money to be scammed out of

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-06-06

No more guessing what to eat!
May 23, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 5 out of 5
5Approved Review
I tried many different diets described online, and nothing worked (the stupid paleo diet made me feel worse). These guys somehow know what I should and should not eat. About a month after I started eating the recommended diet, I started feeling better. Very exciting times we live in.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-05-23

Worked great for me and mine!
May 23, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 5 out of 5
5Approved Review
My bf started using his microbiome recommendations from Viome and has since had serious relief from a lot intestinal issues! I’ve had slightly less obvious results so far, but I’ve definitely had more energy and felt better in general since following my recommendations. It’s really cool to know that we’re at the cutting edge of knowledge about this kind of testing!

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-05-23

Total waste of money and extremely disappointing!
April 28, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
After the big talk by the company owner, the test result was very disappointing and a complete waste of money, $399 and international postage to give a stupid diet plan.
All these exotic pathogens shown and no explanation as to how knowing this knowledge would benefit us, except take probiotics!! Wrote several emails to enquire and ZILCH answer or support so far ! The Viome app asks to download all your contacts and other data from phone and I declined… Complete Rip off …

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-04-28

Don’t waste your money
March 10, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
I have been struggling with gut issues for almost two years. Pain, bloating, IBS symptoms, nausea, food allergies etc…
I was listening to a bulletproof podcast and the creater of this test claimed that the company would identify if I have celiac, leaky gut, IBS, parasites and so forth. This was it, I can finally know what is happening inside my body and start healing it. 350$ later and waiting a month for results they gave me information that I knew already. I’ve been studying holistic health, nutrition, and eat organic. All the recommendations are a ‘no brainer’
No answers to what is happening and what I need to heal. I have a sheet of recommendations to eat more veggies and fruit and little meat..I knew this already.
I also have a huge list of all the bacteria, parasites, viruses but I don’t know what they mean and they will not tell me what they mean..
Not worth it in my opinion.
False claims to help people who are eager to heal and will try anything to find answers.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-03-10

Not what you thought
March 5, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 1 out of 5
1Approved Review
After signing up for the $99/month noncancellable subscription I feel like a fool. The recommendations were literally eat more vegetables, less carbs, less pizza and beer. REALLY ?

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-03-05

Viome Review
January 11, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 5 out of 5
5Approved Review
$399 is worth it considering the upside

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-01-11

Viome Review
January 11, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 5 out of 5
5Approved Review
I’m a total advocate! The information I got explained a f*ckload!

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-01-11

Viome Review
January 3, 2018

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 5 out of 5
5Approved Review
Literally life changing, I can’t speak more highly about this company – I’ve seen a few quacks in my time but this is the first company to give me a real sense of confidence about my tummy and how it’s affecting my health and energy levels 🙂 I’m only two months in and changes are noticeable.

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user2018-01-03

Finally a test with helpful information
December 15, 2017

Microbiome Analysis

Rated 5 out of 5
5Approved Review
Been struggling with gut issues for a while and have seen many doctors. It’s been expensive to take the tests in the past (even with insurance) and frustrating that none of these tests offer insights into what is wrong. Viome is different! My Viome results show me on a VERY detailed level the specific bacteria, viruses, etc that are active in my gut and give me specific nutritional advice for my gut. Love the personalization and that I finally know what to eat. Feel a lot less bloated and sick after eating. Highly recommend!!

Viome Microbiome Testing review by a DNA Testing Choice user

 

 

 

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