Eventually it will be possible, perhaps routine, to get regular real-time updates to what’s happening among the bacteria crawling all over our insides, but for now the best a normal person like me can do is continue sending samples to the uBiome testing service.Here’s an overdue look at my latest report:
(I discussed my previous uBiome results a few months ago)
Unfortunately, I don’t see much of interest. That last sample was taken a few months after the first two. I can’t point to anything unusual that might have happened between the tests. Nothing notable about my diet (I’m a fairly normal omnivore). No antibiotics, no bouts of sickness, no unusual travel or other changes.
Three samples is not enough to draw any conclusions, especially since they are taken in informal, non-scientific circumstances (i.e. my house, at whatever random time I feel like). You can read these however you like, but it’s interesting that the first and third samples are most similar on the two strains of microbes that seem most common in modern America. The level of firmicutes, in particular, is consistent with somebody like me who is of normal weight and health. There is speculation that firmicutes (pronounced fir MIK kyoo teez, by the way) play a role in fat absorption; too much or too little may play a role in obesity).
At 6+%, the actinobacteria in the latest sample is much higher than normal. Since those strains are more common in other parts of the body (e.g. nose, genitals), I’m wondering if there’s a little contamination going on.
I’ve got another uBiome kit waiting to be used, so stay tuned for more updates.