Here at The Natural Nutritionist you know we’re extremely interested in gut health. It’s a huge area of health and wellness and as Hippocrates said “all disease starts in the gut”, and so too does all health. Gut health is so much more than just kombucha and bone broth, and it’s extremely important to develop the right gut health practice for you. Robust gut health means you have the capacity to access the nutrients from the food you eat, can down-regulate inflammation, produce optimal levels of neurotransmitters (including our “feel good” hormone serotonin) and have a strong immune system.
So how do you know? I hear you ask. With one of my favourite mantras: “test, don’t guess”. The best way to investigate your current gut health is with a Faecal Microbial Analysis (FMA) from Bioscreen.
Bioscreen is by far the best and most comprehensive test that will analyse the health of your entire microbiome. Their testing differs from a standard stool test with your General Practitioner and a Complete Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA), as Bioscreen use a combination of culture-based testing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to determine the count and percentage of specific microorganisms in the large intestine. More standard tests look for the abnormal bacteria and parasites that should not be in the gut.
Via a FMA, microbes from your sample are grown and the presence and actual quantities of faecal bacteria, both aerobes and anaerobes, and yeasts are identified. It is more comprehensive and robust for detecting organisms such as parasites, and I have seen many false negative test results from a standard stool test, found to be positive with a Bioscreen Parasites by PCR test.
How does Bioscreen work?
It’s simpler than you may think. You are provided with a full kit and collect a stool test in the privacy of your own home (must be taken Monday-Wednesday). A courier collects your sample and returns it to Bioscreen for analysis. It is important that you avoid antibiotics for 4 weeks prior to testing and avoid all probiotics, ferments and anti-microbials (including apple cider vinegar and aloe vera) for 2 weeks prior. The turn around time for results is 2-4 weeks.
What is Tested?
- Parasites, including Dientamoeba Fragilis, Blastocystis and Giardia.
- Aerobic bacteria, including Ecoli, Streptococcus, Enterococcus and yeasts including Candida.
- Anaerobic bacteria, including Bacteriodes, Eubacterium, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
At $464 the first time you do the test, it’s definitely an investment for some, but one that can save you hundreds of dollars in unnecessary products and supplements, and for some people, years of investigations that examine predominantly digestion function and structure. Don’t get me wrong, colonoscopies are extremely important procedures, and essential once you hit 50 to screen for colorectal cancer, but they do not look at pathogenic overgrowths or the levels of essential bacteria that you need for optimal health, digestion, exercise recovery, mental health and longevity. We like to think of it as a short term investment for long term health.
Want to Know More?
Check out my sample report here.
Recognising that you need to prioritise your gut health? Find out more about our extremely safe and successful program here: Rebuild Your Microbiome.