The Definitive Guide on How to Choose A Gut Health Test

The Definitive Guide on How to Choose A Gut Health Test

Gut health is becoming more and more popular as health and wellness become a central piece of people’s lives in Singapore and all over the world. This means that there is a growing number of labs and companies offering gut health tests as a way for people to take a close look at their gut microbiome. However, with so many gut health tests available, how do you know which one to choose?

If you’re wondering how gut health tests differ and which one is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. Let us walk you through the different gut microbiome tests available today so you can ultimately decide which one is best for you. 

What Is a Gut Microbiome Test?

Gut microbiome tests are meant to measure the number and types of bacteria that live in your intestines. This can include hundreds or even thousands of different bacteria species and may also include information about other organisms and substances in your GI tract. 

The point of a gut microbiome test is to check if you have healthy levels of bacteria in your gut. An unhealthy gut could cause a myriad of problems, ranging from weight gain and gastrointestinal diseases to even cancer and depression. So, taking a microbiome test could be an easy way to check how healthy your gut microbiome is. 

Types of Gut Health Tests

As more companies and labs look to capitalise on this growing interest in gut health, several new gut microbiome tests have been developed. You can expect most gut health tests to fall into one of the following categories: blood, breath, and stool tests.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can be accurate ways to diagnose digestive illnesses, inflammatory conditions, and even food allergies and sensitivities. Blood tests are usually ordered by a doctor when they suspect that there may be a GI-related problem with the patient. These tests don’t measure microbiome diversity, but they can help point out any serious problems with your gut. 

Breath Tests

Breath tests work by measuring the levels of methane and hydrogen in your intestines. These gasses are usually released when there is a significant bacterial problem in the GI tract, such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). While these tests can be helpful for a doctor when diagnosing a patient with SIBO, they are not accurate at diagnosing other GI problems. 

16S Stool Tests

16S microbiome stool tests are some of the most common gut health test kits out there. These tests are very easy and inexpensive to perform, so many companies opt for 16S testing technology. 

However, 16S stool tests do not provide highly accurate information. Instead, they can be helpful in providing a general overview of the patient’s gut health status. Thus, these can be a good option if you’re simply looking for a light check of your gut health and how your gut microbiome is doing.  

Next Generation Sequencing Stool Tests

Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology has revolutionized what’s possible for gut health tests. This is especially true for at-home tests, as it allows patients to self-collect a small stool sample and send it to a lab for on-site sequencing. The sequencing technology is so accurate that it is able to detect specific counts of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms in the patient’s gut. 

These tests can provide a clear roadmap to gut health for those looking to optimise their gut microbiome. No matter where you are on your gut health journey, you can expect an NGS stool test to provide you with detailed information about where you are in terms of gut flora. 

How Do I Know Which Test Is Right for Me?

If you’re looking for an actionable plan to improve your gut health, a next generation sequencing (NGS) gut health test is ideal for you. NGS test kits will give you detailed counts of the types of bacteria living in your gut, allowing you to identify areas of opportunity for improved gut health. 

When paired with the guidance of an experienced nutritionist, an NGS gut health test could provide you with a clear and personalised roadmap to drastically transform your gut health. If you’re looking for the best type of gut health test to improve your microbiome, NGS tests are it. 

OSbiome offers gut health test kits using state-of-the-art NGS testing technology to provide our users with the most accurate results. Our test kits produce 15 unique gut health reports and lay out a custom plan for improving your gut health based on your test results. Order a kit today and discover your formula for a healthy gut!