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Viome is a health testing company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze an individual’s gut biology to gain insights into their health. The service offers personalized food recommendations and made-to-order supplements according to these test results. However, there is currently little reliable evidence to show that Viome’s products are effective.
Viome is a health testing company that started in 2016, with headquarters in Washington, United States.
In July 2021, it renamed itself Viome Life Sciences and separated into two divisions, with one focusing on products and supplements and the other on advancing research on chronic diseases.
Viome uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze microbes and mRNA from samples and uses a gene expression database to identify chronic diseases and other health concerns, such as cancer and aging.
The company aims to help people understand their bodies and health better through these tests.
According to its website, Viome focuses on predicting illnesses, early diagnostics, providing health outlooks, and offering precision therapeutics, which refers to individualized nutrition for health conditions.
Viome has accreditation with the Better Business Bureau and has an A- rating on the review platform.
However, the company has a score of 1.24 out of 5 stars from 59 customer reviews. It resolved 52 complaints over the last 3 years.
On Trustpilot, there are over 1000 reviews for Viome, which give an average rating of 3 out of 5 stars.
However, most negative reviews mentioned delayed test results, difficulty getting refunds, customer service issues, and problems with registration.
Viome utilizes AI and RNA sequencing to identify and quantify microorganisms, including strains and species of parasites, viruses, bacteria, and yeast, to gain a detailed insight into a person’s gut microbiome.
The tests also analyze how these microorganisms function and the metabolites they produce. Viome then uses these microorganisms to control the function of an individual’s gut microbiome to help reduce chronic diseases.
The company claims to do this by offering food and lifestyle recommendations and supplements according to a person’s test results, including prebiotics, probiotics, and vitamins that Viome specifically formulates for individuals.
There are several studies showing that Viome may help improve health.
Evidence from Viome
At the time of publishing this article, Viome has sponsored several reports currently available as preprint papers, but they are not yet peer-reviewed.
Another report from 2020 showed how gut microbiome activity and anthropometric factors — such as height, weight, body mass index, and food composition — affect glycemic response among adults. Glycemic response is an essential factor in managing blood sugar and reducing the risk of chronic metabolic diseases.
Finally, a peer-reviewed 2019 study demonstrates the accuracy and effectiveness of Viomega, a stool analysis method that Viome developed.
However, the research disclosed that all the authors for these three studies were Viome employees, while the company itself sponsored all the reports. This constitutes a conflict of interest, meaning the conclusions in these studies are subject to bias. As a result, their findings may not be reliable.
Several studies that Viome had not carried out have shown that healthcare professionals could utilize gut microbial biomarkers in the early diagnosis of diseases. For instance, a 2017 study found that these indicators could help diagnose early hepatocellular carcinoma.
Additionally, a similar 2021 study stated that measuring gut microbes can help improve methods of assigning risk levels to people with heart failure. This study also reported that measuring gut microbes could help identify individuals likely to respond positively to personalized diet and drug therapies that target the gut microbiome.
A 2019 two-part review stated that strategic manipulation of the gut microbiota through dietary strategies, such as the use of fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics, are known methods to improve health and prevent disease. It also noted that healthcare professionals could use an individual’s microbiota to see how responsive they may be to dietary interventions.
Viome may suit people interested in a comprehensive understanding of their unique microbiome makeup to make personalized dietary and lifestyle changes according to their health concerns.
The company claims its test results may benefit individuals with the following conditions:
- chronic conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and depression
- nutrition-related conditions, such as obesity or diabetes
- bowel disorders, such as IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease
- skin issues, such as acne
Viome also states that people who wish to check for early signs of diseases and certain types of cancer may also benefit from its tests.
A person can choose from two tests and two different subscription plans, depending on the add-ons they wish to access with their purchase.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
There are three Viome tests available.
Full Body Intelligence Test
This is the most comprehensive and expensive test from Viome. A person receives a package with instructions on how to take blood, stool, and saliva samples to submit them to the lab. This test analyzes these samples to produce over 50 health scores, which include gut health, oral health, immune system health, and biological age.
The individual then receives these health scores in their own account, as well as actionable recommendations, including what to avoid and what to eat.
Health Intelligence Test
For this test, a person provides blood and stool samples for testing to analyze their gut microbiome and gene expression. The individual then receives health scores that measure their stress and immune response and mitochondrial and cellular health. These scores also determine if a person’s biological age is on par with their chronological age.
Gut Intelligence Test
For this test, a person provides a stool sample that the service uses to assess their gut microbiome health. The individual then receives a report recommending foods and supplements to benefit and optimize their gut health.
Precision Nutrition add-ons
Along with the test, there are nutrition options a person can order with their subscription tests.
Precision Supplements Complete
With this subscription, an individual can access two Health Intelligence tests that the company sends every 6 months. It also comes with a 30-day supply of customized prebiotics, probiotics, and supplements that the service delivers monthly.
Precision Probiotics + Prebiotics
With this option, a person receives one Gut Intelligence Test annually and a 30-day supply of customized prebiotics, probiotics, and supplements in monthly deliveries.
There are various advantages and drawbacks of Viome to consider, including the following.
- offers personalized supplements, reports, and recommendations
- has a user-friendly app
- identifies a vast range of microorganisms
- uses RNA instead of DNA, which may protect a person’s identity better
- updates results according to improved AI algorithms
- features continuously advancing research
- presents vague language around its sampling process and lab analysis
- offers broad health claims that research cannot back up
- presents unreliable current research with conflicts of interest
- requires stool and blood samples that may be difficult to obtain
- requires individuals to fill out a personal questionnaire
- has an annual plan that can be expensive
- does not cover shipping costs for samples that need shipping outside the U.S.
- limits services to a few countries
Individuals looking for home test kits for general wellness, sexual health, or specific health assessments according to their sex can also consider the following companies:
- Everlywell: This company sells several test kits, including tests for general wellness, men’s and women’s health, energy and weight, sexual health, and COVID-19. Physicians will review the results of all tests, and people will receive their results within days on a secure platform. Learn more about Everlywell. Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off.
- LetsGetChecked: This company sells tests for sexual health, men’s and women’s health, wellness, and COVID-19. Physicians review all test results, which individuals receive within 2–5 days. Additionally, the company offers support and treatment options in the event of a positive result. Learn more about LetsGetChecked.
- QuestDirect by Quest Diagnostics: This company sells tests for general health, men’s and women’s health, digestive health, heart health, infectious diseases, and sexually transmitted infections. Health professionals will review the test results and contact people if their test indicates that further medical care is necessary.
The following chart compares Viome with some of its competitors.
Viome offers one-time purchase tests as well as plans on subscription. The plans include probiotic and prebiotic supplements as well as annual tests.
If a person purchases a subscription product, they can pause the subscription at any time. However, the company states that subscription cancellations that occur within three months of the start date may result in additional charges.
Once a person receives their test, they must follow the instructions and send the samples back to the lab. Results are usually available about 4 weeks after the lab receives the sample. People can then see their results online on the company’s website or app.
People who notice any discomfort, bloating, or pain in their stomachs should contact a doctor as soon as possible. There are various conditions that can cause gut discomfort and pain, such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
Healthcare professionals make a diagnosis and offer treatment or management techniques to help improve a person’s quality of life.
Some common questions and answers about Viome include the following.
Does Viome really work?
Some research indicates that microbiome tests could detect a person’s risk of certain diseases. Other studies also suggest that these screenings could help optimize an individual’s gut environment through dietary strategies, including probiotic and prebiotic supplements.
However, the studies supporting the efficacy of Viome’s products may not be reliable. Additionally, the company makes health claims that scientific evidence may not back up.
Is Viome FDA-approved?
Microbiome tests, such as those that Viome offers, do not have approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not meant to diagnose conditions.
However, Viome recently received the FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for its saliva tool for use as an early screening tool for oral cancers, including oropharyngeal cancer and oral squamous cell carcinoma.
What can a microbiome test tell you?
A microbiome test indicates a person’s gut health by analyzing and identifying the composition of microorganism species in their gut.
This screening may also determine the metabolites the microbes produce, which healthcare professionals may use to provide lifestyle and nutrition recommendations to improve an individual’s gut environment.
Viome offers microbiome testing and gene expression analysis to provide individuals with personalized supplementation to improve their gut biodiversity and empower them to improve their nutrition and health.
However, there is little reliable scientific evidence to support the health claims that the company makes.