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Quick Facts on Ombre Gut Test
- Offers at-home testing kit and monthly subscriptions
- Uses 16s RNA technology to identify gut bacteria
- Uses an algorithm to interpret findings and provide recommendations
- Test requires stool samples
- Test not FDA-approved
How Does Ombre Work?
Step 1 – Order and Activate Your Test: You’ll receive your kit through mail. This summary review focuses on the Gut Health Test.
Step 2 – Collect sample: Ombre only offers at-home test kits, so you collect the sample yourself. Collect stool for the Gut Health Test.
Step 3 – Send back the samples for lab testing: Ombre uses 16s RNA technology to analyze gut bacteria. Once your sample is processed, you’ll receive an e-mail to view your gut health report. You’ll have access to a personalized dashboard with everything you need to know about your gut health. The personalized dashboard includes an “explore” and a “take action” section.
Step 4 – Order supplements (optional): Get a subscription service if you want a monthly supply of probiotics, prebiotics, or customized supplements. You can cancel or pause the subscription at any time.
The total amount of microorganisms in your body is called your microbiome. It is so important and vital that many scientists have begun to regard it as an organ unto itself. There are subdivisions of your microbiome related to specific body parts or functions, and your gut microbiome may be the most important of the bunch.
Ombre, formerly known as Thryve, is one of a handful of microbiome testing companies to sell tests directly to consumers. The focus of the company provides: 1. Testing to achieve an understanding of your microbiome and 2. Personalized supplements to help optimize its performance.
Ombre’s gut health tests are designed to demonstrate the make-up of your gut microbiome and to help you determine the best kind of dietary changes and probiotics to use to improve your gut and overall health. They also sell probiotic blends and a prebiotic that they recommend to users of their test. The following report is a summary of a number of reviews of experiences with Ombre’s gut health test.
Expect your results to be available within two to four weeks. As soon as it’s ready, your personalized gut health report will be available on Ombre’s website. There are three parts: 1. The Gut Health Report which includes your overall Gut Score, 2. Food Recommendations, 3. Personalized Probiotic Suggestions. The documentation you receive is relatively easy to follow. Your results will show what bacteria were found in your gut microbiome and will include numerical scores in categories such as gut bacteria diversity and symptom likeliness. You will also receive diet and probiotic recommendations based on your score and your sample analysis. Ombre offers users the opportunity to purchase a package of 10 additional reports that provide more comprehensive information. The exact content of these reports is unclear.
Additionally, the test results will include a personalized list of foods you should avoid and foods you should eat that are particularly good for your current bacterial composition The foods to avoid may be based on whether your gut bacteria can properly process those foods. Ombre doesn’t simply list foods and substances to add to your diet or avoid. They give you deeper information about why these recommendations make sense specifically for you, based on your test results. To make things easier, Ombre provides food recipes. Each recipe lists the ingredients, instructions, preparation time, cooking time, and the number of servings.
The results of Ombre’s analysis may not give you a complete picture of your overall health since they are based only on bacterial gene analysis, and the microbiome is only one part of a very complex digestive system. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary restrictions and potential nutrient deficiencies, it is recommended that consumers talk with a doctor or a registered dietitian before eliminating potentially nutritious foods from their diet.
Ombre Gut Intelligence Test Pros
- Tests use 16s RNA sequencing as opposed to DNA
- Personalized report, diet suggestions, prebiotic and probiotic recommendations
- Evidence-based program
- Offers discounted probiotic subscriptions
- User-friendly app
- Uses ISO-compliant labs
- Good privacy protections
- SMS and GMP-certified probiotic production
- Sample acquisition and account setup are easy to do
- Get results within 2-4 weeks
- Has a unique buffer that preserves stool samples better than competition
- Includes actionable steps for improving gut health
Ombre Gut Intelligence Test Cons
- No personalized consultations with a doctor or dietician
- Microbiome science is still somewhat new
- No telephone number listed on website
- Cannot download, print, or view report as a PDF (according to the company, this feature is currently in the pipeline)
- Occasional delayed shipment of products or no receipt of products
- Difficulty canceling subscriptions
- Additional subscription plans can be expensive
- Products are not approved by the FDA
- Doesn’t check for viruses, parasites, yeasts, and fungi that inhabit your gut
- Premium results can be confusing
- Some health claims may be exaggerated
Gut Microbiome Test and Price
The Gut Health Test is Ombre’s gut microbiome test. The instructions are printed inside the box that come with your kit. Each step includes a picture, giving you a visual guide on what to do. You send them a small sample of your stool, and they generate a report about the bacteria present in your stool, which is a snapshot of the good and bad bacteria present in your gut. Currently, the Gut Health Test only identifies bacteria in your gut microbiome, but Ombre intends to offer more comprehensive gut microbiome testing in the future.
Ombre uses published scientific research to understand how the abundance of different types of bacteria in your gut relates to the available scientific research and the microbiomes of others. Ombre’s proprietary software analyzes your bacterial makeup against the dozens of thousands of results cataloged in the American Gut Project. They also run your results through an algorithm that takes into account every single microbiome research article written to date (around 50,000 of them) and provides a confidence score, so they know just how accurate your results are. Ombre uses this information to generate personalized diet and probiotic recommendations to improve your gut bacteria’s diversity and overall health. This report includes foods and probiotics that could help decrease potentially pathogenic bacteria and increase the variety of other, more helpful species. Importantly, Ombre explicitly points out that they are not a diagnostic service. If you’re concerned about any gastrointestinal symptoms or any other health concerns, you should speak to your health care provider.
The Gut Health Test sits at $99 with discounted pricing often available making it the most affordable at-home gut microbiome test compared to the competition. The results they offer and their ability to turn those into probiotic, prebiotic, and diet recommendations, while limited in scope, are considered by some to be a significant bargain over other gut microbiome test offerings. However, the subscription costs for the probiotic products and additional tests to monitor your progress can be substantial. Some people have experienced noteworthy differences thanks to those supplements, so it could be worth the additional costs.
More on Ombre
Ombre is a tech health company that was founded in 2016 in California by a man named Richard Lin under the original name of Thryve (Ombre adopted its new name in the latter half of 2021). After suffering from his own gut issues, he began researching and learning about gut health. After he was left with more questions than answers, he created Ombre as a way to find answers to better gut health. Ombre manufactures an at-home gut microbiome test. Your gut microbiome is made up of the microscopic bacteria, fungi, and other living organisms that reside in your large intestine. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for supporting gut health, and overall health.
The company allows customers to mail in a test to analyze their gut microbiome, suggests dietary changes, and recommends personalized probiotic blends to meet their specific needs. All microbiome analyses are processed in a United States laboratory that is certified to meet standards set forth by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Ombre also sells several different types of probiotic blends and a prebiotic. They recommend specific products to people who have taken their test, based on the results. You can also purchase supplements from Ombre without taking their gut health test. Ombre suggests that enhancing your gut health could allow you to achieve better weight loss results, see improvements in your mood, feel more energetic, and improve your digestion. With the increasing popularity of probiotics and the consumption of more whole foods, interest in balancing one’s gut microbiome has been on the rise. Something to keep in mind, the scientific and medical evidence regarding the microbiome, microbiome testing, and probiotic supplementation may not fully support all of the claims Ombre makes about what its tests and probiotic supplements can do.
Brand Reputation and Customer Reviews
Ombre (Ombre Lab) is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has a business rating of B+ and 4-star customer rating. Prior to mid-2021, Ombre (Thryve) had a BBB rating of F reflecting the BBB’s opinion about Ombre’s interactions with customers, which was uniformly poor. This is something the company has taken seriously and made adjustments which is reflected in their upgraded ratings.
The company also has a track record at Trustpilot, where they get a 4.2 out of 5 stars. Many of the reviews here seem to follow two trends. People who had issues with receiving the test or results in a timely fashion gave poor scores. One major failing in this department was the lack of any notification when results were finally ready. The positive reviews centered on great customer service.
How Does Ombre Protect Your Privacy?
Ombre protects your privacy by separating your personally identifiable information from your protected health information. They use multiple layers of encryption and protection to ensure your data is secure. They also promise never to sell your data or provide information to health insurance companies or employers. You can opt in to share your data for anonymous research purposes. If you do, the lab may reuse your sample or the data it collects to improve analysis and develop new techniques and technologies.
Ombre will also provide your raw data as FASTQ files. If you have any experience with DNA sequencing (or know someone who does), you could use this data yourself.