MicrobioME Snapshot Week Ending February 3, 2019

MicrobioME Snapshot Week Ending February 3, 2019

Week Three of the Probiotic Testing Period

January 28, 2019 through February 3, 2019


If this is your first time visiting the MicrobioME Project, I encourage you to check out our introductory post, “The MicroboME Project” for a thorough explanation of what we’re up to here.

In short, the MicrobioME Project is a one-man experiment in supplementation, diet, exercise, sleep, and other variables intended to track changes in my microbiome and the general state of my health, and in doing so, provide readers with a reference point they can use to make more informed decisions about their own health.

Earlier this week I posted the results of my first test conducted by Ubiome, a gene-sequencing gut microbiome testing company, establishing my “Base Case.” If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out that post, “Base Case Ubiome Test Results.”

This past period marked the third and final week of my “Probiotic Case” supplementation routine in which I held steady at the approximately 100 billion CFUs of probiotics a day I had ramped up to the week before. (see below for details).

In fact, I sent my sample to Ubiome on Friday. It is this sample that will establish the Probiotic Case I mentioned above and is intended to determine if ingesting that amount of probiotics can yield any measurabe results in the state of my microbiome, at least when it comes to the Ubiome test.

(Please note that I like to collect samples on Fridays as my weekdays are more structured than my weekends and so should limit random changes in the variables I’m trying to hold constant.)

My general and digestive health remain fine. I’ll have more to say about that in coming reviews (for example I believe the Genuine Health probiotic actually made things a little “better” for me).

My plan in the coming weeks is to hold everything else constant, including my elevated probiotic supplementation, but add large amounts of prebiotics, the food stuffs (primarily soluble fibers) that your gut microbes feed on.

Should be fun!

See below for my supplement and lifestyle data for the past week.


Very little change from last week, but that was on purpose. I held my probiotic and very modest prebiotic supplementation steady and tried to hold all the other lifestyle variables (which can have an impact on gut health) as steady as I could.

Given the difficulty of getting the same amount of sleep, the same amount of physical exercise, same diet with the same macro percentages over many weeks, I feel I’m doing reasonably well with that effort. The key is to limit large, material changes.

So far, so… not bad.

And as I mentioned above, I “feel” good, no complaints.

On to the details:

Probiotic Supplementation

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.

Probiotics 20190203
(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.)

Note that I provide CFU totals both at the time of manufacture and at expiration (estimated in cases where the manufacturer does not specify). I don’t typically take probiotics too close to their expiration and so you can assume my actual intake is closer to the date of manufacture, so for the past week I would assume my CFU count is probably at least 100 billion CFUs a day.

(I considered fine-tuning the numbers given how close a given bottle was to its expiration date, but as I don’t know the rate of decay, I considered that of very little utility.)

I also consume around 8 ounces of Greek Yogurt a day. Is yogurt really a probiotic? A discussion for another time. I include it here for thoroughness. Likewise, with kimchi which I’m consuming once or twice a week.

Prebiotic Supplementation

For my total fiber intake, see “Diet” below. This is specifically for prebiotic supplementation. Not all dietary fiber is considered prebiotic.

I’m holding this constant. (I will be conducting a Prebiotic Case Study starting this week in which I will drastically increase both the variety and quantity of my prebiotic intake.)

Prebiotics 20190203

(*The LEF Prebiotic Chewable from Life Extension Foundation is made up of xylooligosaccharide.)

(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 20190203

The macro percentages only changed a percentage point or two from last week. For purposes of my Probiotic Case study, I am trying to hold these variables constant.

My fiber intake was down about 8 to 10 grams. I’ll need to watch that more closely, it usually holds pretty steady.

My fat intake remains majority plant-based, nuts and seeds and plant oils for the most part. Close to half my protein comes from shakes and bars, and are primarily whey, casein, and plant based. I should note that I do eat meat most days. A lot of chicken this past week, beef twice.

I continue to eat about a cup of blueberries a day, plus some blackberries. I also have at least one large salad and vegetables with dinner, sometimes lunch.

Fiber is about half soluble, half insoluble.


Sleep 20190203

After coming up a bit short last week, I was back to my typical sleep patterns this past week.

Activity Level

Exercise 20190121-27

I teach regular group fitness classes as part of my wellness business so my activity level is usually pretty high. This week was typical.

Weekday caloric expenditure averaged close to 3000 Calories a day, weekends closer to 2300.

I exercised around two hours a day during the week, but keep in mind that the Apple Watch counts very modest movement as exercise, so that would be a mix of modest to high intensity (For example, walking the dog counts).

I hit the “Stand” parameters 17 hours each weekday, and closer to 15 on weekends. (Apple measures a “Stand” as moving around for at least a minute within an hour.)


This is a new data point I’m including this week. I am pretty successful at keeping my weight within a tight range, but weight can affect your microbiome so I include it here for both completeness and to make sure I remain mindful of it.

This is particularly important this time of year as I often put on a few pounds during the winter. I’m making a conscious effort to watch it this time, so this will provide further incentive to do so.


That it’s for this week. You’ll see some big changes next week as I gear up for my “Prebiotics Case.” Since prebiotics are basically fiber, I’m going to ramp those up slowly and see how my body tolerates it. I already consumer about 60 grams of fiber a day, which is about four times the average (but only 50% more than recommended) so this should go reasonably well.

I hope.

I suspect I’ll be on this case for three to four weeks. The results for my “Probiotics Case” should be in by then and I’ll report on those as soon as I have them.

Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to drop any comments or questions below.

Take care!