Microbiome Snapshot Week Ending April 21, 2019

Microbiome Snapshot Week Ending April 21, 2019

Recovery and Reset, Week 1

April 15, 2019 through April 21, 2019

What a week.

The tail end of the prior week, Saturday, I flew to Key West on a long-planned trip with some old college buddies. I knew what this trip was going to be about, and so took it as an opportunity to see what effects three days of drinking alcohol at “elevated” levels might have on the microbiota of a person who rarely drinks alcohol. I did not supplement with any probiotics or prebiotics other than what is noted below in the details.

I flew back Tuesday early afternoon and collected my sample for Ubiome laboratory testing (they have since received it).

New to the MicrobioME Project? New to Microbiome Bulletin? If so, you might want to check out, The MicroboME Project, the About “Us” page, the Microbiome Glossary, and Microbiome Hype.

And you can check all the MicrobioME Project posts in the MicrobioME Project Category.

While I was there, I tried to keep the other variables I track that could affect the microbiota as close to normal as I could under the circumstances. I’ll have more to say about that once I get the test results back and write up my report.

The rest of the week was basically recovery. You’ll note below in the details that I began adding back some of the basic probiotics and prebiotics I had been taking before I began all this first phase of testing.

I am basically going into a kind of normal steady state until I write up the Prebiotic Case (apologies, I’ve had the data for a couple weeks now), get a look at the Base Case 2 results, and maybe the Alcohol case before I embark on another specific experiment, although I do have some ideas!

Speaking of cases, a quick accounting of the current state of play of all my MicrobioME Project testing is below. Changes from last week are underlined (hyperlinks are in blue and always underlined)

Base Case

No supplementation, just my regular diet and lifestyle routine (I even gave up yogurt as that is includes probiotic organisms).

Completed and posted: Base Case Ubiome Test Results.

Probiotic Case

Adding roughly 100 billion CFUs a day of a variety of probiotics.

Completed and posted: Do Probiotics Work? Yes! But….

Prebiotic-Probiotic Case

Adding approximately 24 grams a day of various prebiotics to the 100 billion CFUs of probiotics I had been taking for the Probiotic Case.

Completed and posted: Prebiotic Probiotic Combination – Real World Results and Impressions.

Prebiotic Case

Removing the 100 billion CFUs of probiotics from my supplementation leaving only the 24 grams of prebiotic supplements in place.

  • Testing Period COMPLETED
  • Sample Collection COMPLETED
  • Ubiome Laboratory Results COMPLETED
  • Case Results Posted IN PROCESS

Base Case 2

Removing the remaining 24 grams of prebiotics and returning to zero supplementation.

  • Testing Period COMPLETED
  • Sample Collection COMPLETED
  • Ubiome Laboratory Results IN PROCESS
  • Case Results Posted

Alcohol Case

No supplementation, adding approximately 10-12 alcoholic drinks per day for three days

  • Testing Period COMPLETED
  • Sample Collection COMPLETED
  • Ubiome Laboratory Results IN PROCESS
  • Case Results Posted

On to the details of this past week. Again, this was recovery and reset, just biding my time as I put together the next round of experiments!


As I mentioned above, a particularly odd week consisting of three days of alcohol abuse followed by a return to “normal” and the adding back of a handful of supplements.

Probiotic Supplementation

As soon as I got back from Key West I started taking the Great Oral Health Probiotic (write up here). That’s one I really missed as I felt it was genuinely helpful regarding, yes, my oral health and also my breath. I expect I’ll be adding the Genuine Health Advanced Gut Probiotic (write up here) again soon as I thought that was specifically helpful, even more so now that I’ve been off it a while.

I also resumed consuming yogurt which inherent to its nature as a fermented dairy product, contains probiotic microorganisms.

The table below includes brands, CFUs (number of live organisms, see my post, “What Should I Look For in a Probiotic” for an explanation), and days of the week together with averages.

I provide CFU totals both at the time of manufacture and at expiration. I don’t typically take probiotics too close to their expiration so you can assume my actual intake is closer to the date of manufacture.

Probiotics 20190421


(Interested in trying some of these out for yourself? Please check out our Resource Page. All items are listed by category and available for immediate purchase through Amazon.)

Prebiotic Supplementation

Likewise, I added back the LEF Prebiotic Chewable (XOS) which I usually take after lunch.

As for the psyllium, I always take that. While it is considered to be a legitimate prebiotic by many, including me, it is a mild one at best. That aside, I’ve been taking it for literally decades and it is as much a part of my diet as eating fruit and vegetables (which contain prebiotics naturally), so I don’t consider it supplemental anymore, but rather a part of my “base case” lifestyle.

Prebiotic 20190421(Interested in trying some of these out for yourself? Please check out our Resource Page. All items are listed by category and available for immediate purchase through Amazon.)


Diet 20190421

My macros were pretty close to normal compared to prior weeks. My carbs started spiking Saturday and Sunday as a result of mixed drinks and alcohol while I was in Key West, but in terms of this week, that was all over by Tuesday and it was more or less back to normal.

While I was in Key West I ate primarily seafood and salads, so I did have that going for me. Except for some biscuits and sausage gravy Tuesday morning before we left (a weakness of mine!) it was all fish and conch. Some french fries were involved, and some sandwiches, not to mention the obligatory midnight slice of post-drinking pepperoni pizza, I thought I did pretty well.

Breakfast was yogurt and some granola and blueberries. After I got back, it was pretty much various kinds of veggie burgers (family was away at that point and I was keeping it simple) and simple sides.


Sleep 20190421

A little below my target of 6 hours and 40 minutes but the average was pulled down a bit early on when I was still in Key West.

Activity Level

Activity 20190421

I came in under my target of between 2750 and 2850 calories a day, but frankly not as much as I had expected given I spent the first day of the week on vacation (which included one short weight training workout) and the second on airplanes and in airports.

As a reminder, I am a group fitness instructor and personal trainer (part of my health, fitness, and wellness business), so I was pretty active when I got started back at work Wednesday which did seem to make up quite a bit of ground. It probably helped that I picked up some classes and training sessions to make up for the time I missed.


Weight 20190421

This is a really good example of what happens when you add 1500 to 2000 empty calories of beer and rum to your diet for three days while in Key West. That first reading is from Tuesday when I got back and yes, was abnormally high.

Long-time readers of the MicrobioME Project know my weight typically spikes a pound or two coming out of the weekend when I’m less active, but rarely like this!

While I don’t typically weigh myself on weekends, given that my schedule is usually less structured and so it can be difficult to get a valid weight measure at the same time, under the same circumstances, I did make a point of weighing myself Saturday to make sure I didn’t lose too much ground, having worked pretty hard from Wednesday on to get back down to my normal weight (which usually hovers below 154 pounds).


Thanks for visiting! I’m looking forward to getting the last of the results in for this first phase of testing and experimentation and I hope you are too. I hope to finally get the Prebiotics Case done before next week and then Base Case 2, when I basically return to the beginning.

The Alcohol Case, a very specific experiment, is a type of testing you might see more of in the future, although not necessarily alcohol, at least not every time, but hopefully some other variables as well!

And I do plan on making another run at probiotics and prebiotics, perhaps with more precision now that I have some personal data and experience to work off of.

As always, comments, observations, or questions are welcome below!

Take care!