GUT MICROBIOTA TEST: aimed at assessing the quality of your gut flora
WHAT IS IT? The gut microbiota, also known as gut flora, is a body organ in its own right and it consists of all the symbiotic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses and protists) that live in the digestive tracts. It houses 80% of our immune system, can weigh up to 1.5 kg and, much like fingerprints, is unique to each and every one of us. A healthy microbiota is key to preserving our physiological and metabolic well-being. It promotes digestion, determines the success of dietary and pharmacological treatments and prevents the onsets of conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases of the intestinal tract, diverticula, colorectal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and allergies.
WHEN TO DO IT? There are specific cases in which gut microbiota testing can help design a successful therapeutic approach. This is for instance the case for patients with intestinal symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome, frequent diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence and intestinal discomfort. In case of overweight or obesity, the test can be integrated in nutritional strategies aimed at losing pounds and subsequently maintaining a healthy weight. During crucial phases in life, such as childhood and old age, preserving a healthy microbiota can contribute to preventing allergies and containing the deterioration of the immune system (immunosenescence) and the inflammations that are brought on by natural age advancement.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, maintaining a healthy microbiota is essential not only for the woman’s health, but also to help the newborn build a balanced microbiota, which develops from the maternal one.
At the onset of menopause, a healthy microbiota can help better manage major metabolic and physiological changes. If you suffer from recurring or chronical infections of the urinary-genital tract, such as cystitis, urethritis, vaginitis and candida, the results of this test can help you treat them. If you are an athlete, a balanced microbiota with a high metabolic efficiency can be a valuable aid both in keeping healthy and in increasing your sports performance.
HOW IS IT PERFORMED? A simple physico-chemical examination or culture test is carried out on a stool sample with the use of a specific kit.
WHAT DO THE TEST RESULTS SHOW? Nowadays, the most advanced techniques for the sequencing of bacterial DNA extracted from faecal samples (such as Next Generation Sequencing) provide for a full and reliable analysis of gut microbiota. Besides identifying the various bacterial species, they allow us to assess the overall state of health (or dysbiosis) of the microbiota, its efficiency in producing useful or harmful substances, its ability to carry out specific key functions, as well as its predisposition towards inflammatory bowel, metabolic and ageing-related diseases. As a result, these technologies can offer an impressive amount of data, which are collected in the Microbiopassport® - a genetic ID of your microbiota.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE TEST RESULTS? You will receive the results of the sequencing and the subsequent biocomputational and statistical analysis of the data contained in your Microbiopassport® about 30 days after the collection of the sample.
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