Skip to Main Content

Microbiome testing companies have become a thing, offering consumers a chance to see a snapshot of the billions of microbes that reside in their bodies. Some promise even more from a swab: personalized advice on how to improve your health.

“Take control of your gut bacteria to help with weight management, fitness, skin health and more!” says Thryve’s website. Meanwhile, Viome, launched with $21 million in startup funding last year, promises to help people “discover what’s happening inside your gut and get a personalized action plan to fix it,” using technology “developed for National Security.” Their competitor uBiome has a vaguer sales pitch, saying customers will “learn” and “discover” more about their microbiome — and it may have good reason to keep it simple.


There’s no doubt that the microbiome, the community of trillions of bacteria and viruses that live in a person’s body, has a profound impact on human health. But our understanding of the microbiome isn’t advanced enough, nor are the commercial tests precise enough, to guide customized health recommendations, experts told STAT.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

  • All of us silly people who thought that our government was going to protect us from false health claims. This stuff was weaponized by social media, after all it was profitable. Anyone with a few bucks could peddle enough nonsense to turn a profit.
    My dog has a really good Micro Biome, he like to eat road apples after a parade. That an occasional piece of roadkill, increase his micro biome exponentially.

Comments are closed.