Publish Date: 
Friday, May 31, 2019 - 11:15

CHOICE road tests the Microba Insight gut microbiome test

Microba comes out on top for ease of use and helping consumers to decipher their results.

A growing base of research indicates that our gut microbiome plays a key role in health, wellbeing and disease. Comprised of trillions of microbes including bacteria, fungi and viruses, our gut microbiome helps to control digestion, and influences the immune system. Imbalances in the gut microbiome have been linked with conditions ranging from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even obesity and mental health. There is also evidence to suggest that the balance of our gut microbiome can be influenced by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.

So what does your gut microbiome look like, and what might that mean for your health?

To help answer this question, a number of gut microbiome testing kits are available on the market in Australia, as ‘direct-to-consumer’ tests.

Brisbane microbial genomics company Microba, is leading the way with the most comprehensive testing kit available. Currently basing part of its operations at TRI, Microba has gone from strength to strength, winning ‘Emerging Company of the Year’ at AusBiotech in 2018 to being named as one of 'The Top 5 Startups in Brisbane' earlier this month. Their technology is based on full metagenomic gene sequencing, which provides more a comprehensive picture of your gut microbes compared to the 16s rRNA gene sequencing methods used by other kits. This month, leading consumer advocacy group CHOICE trialled the Microba Insight Sampling Kit alongside the i-Screen Microbiome Check.

What does CHOICE say about the Microba Insight Sampling Kit?

Overall, the Microba kit stood out in terms of ease of use, and support with interpreting results. Sample collection was quick and easy, with a comprehensive online questionnaire to complete at the same time. When the results were ready three weeks later, the written report was complemented by a 10-minute phone consultation with a ‘Microbiome Coach’ to help with a better understand of the results. Based on individual results, the Microbiome Coach can provide some suggestions about how you can change your diet to optimise your gut microbiome. However, they also reinforce that gut health is an emerging science, there are limitations to testing and to avoid over-interpreting the results.

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The article: Are DIY gut flora testing kits worth it? Published 24 May 2019. CHOICE 2019.

For more information about Microba and the kits, visit: