Microbiome Snapshot Week Ending March 10, 2019

Microbiome Snapshot Week Ending March 10, 2019

Week Two of the Prebiotic Case Testing Period

March 4, 2019 through March 10, 2019

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I posted the Probiotic Case test results earlier this week (which is partly why this update is a little late!). If you haven’t checked that out yet, I encourage you to do so. A lot of data, some expected, some not so much. A really good start, I think, to the MicrobioME Project in that I now have something to compare to the original Base Case.

Before we go further, Let’s update the state of play below. Changes from last week are underlined:

Base Case

No supplementation, just my regular diet and lifestyle habits (I even gave up yogurt as that is considered a probiotic). Read the post here.

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

Probiotic Case

Adding roughly 100 billion CFUs a day of a variety of probiotics. Read the post here.

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

Prebiotic-Probiotic Case

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

  • Testing Period COMPLETED
  • Sample Collection COMPLETED
  • Ubiome Laboratory Results COMPLETED
  • Case Results Posted:

Prebiotic Case

Removing the probiotics from my supplementation leaving only the prebiotic supplements in place.

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

Note that the Prebiotic-Probiotic Case laboratory test results came in. A LOT of interesting data there. Keep an eye out for that post in the coming week or so!

On to the current week:


This was the week I finished phasing out my intake of the final two probiotics from earlier supplementation routine, the Genuine Health Advanced Gut Probiotic, and the Great Oral Health Probiotic. As I mentioned last week, those are two favorites and I was sorry to see them go. Did I notice any changes? I think so. I spoke of a better “consistency” if you will regarding my GI tract, and I think I may have lost some of that. Or, that’s just confirmation bias. We’ll see how next week goes.

I also eliminated yogurt entirely. I’m truly not enjoying that as it has long been a staple afternoon snack of mine. The things we do for science!

Details below.

Probiotic Supplementation

As you can see, this was the week I phased out the final two probiotics I was still taking. I also phased out my consumption of yogurt towards the end of the week.

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.

(Note that the CFU counts at manufacture and expiration for the Life Extension Foundation “GI With Phage” and “Heart Health” probiotics were both provided directly by the company in response to an inquiry I had made and are not yet reflected on their packaging. I have made a similar inquiry about the Immune Health and will update the chart if and when necessary.)

(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 75 billion CFUs a day.

Prebiotic Supplementation

No changes here. This is the one I want to hold steady in terms of the products, brands, and quantities for the Prebiotic Case. These supplements are what this phase of the experiment is all about.

(As I’ve mentioned in earlier updates, green banana flour contains a prebiotic known as “resistant starch” which only recently has been granted “fiber” status by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is an important development as resistant starch (often referred to as “RS”) has not before been permitted to be listed as a fiber on nutritional labels in this country.

I reached out to the company to find out what the new labels might look like, and they gave me some preliminary feedback which is now reflected in my prebiotic tables. The tables include this RS only as the other fiber is not considered prebiotic.)

Prebiotic 20190310



(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 20190310

Diet held steady from last week. I might want to get the protein percentage up a bit to be closer to earlier cases, but I don’t believe there are any material changes here I need to worry about.

My fat intake remains majority plant-based (if only by a little), nuts and seeds and plant oils. Close to half my protein comes from shakes and bars, and are primarily whey, casein, and plant based. I do eat meat most days. This week was a mixture of pork, beef, chicken, and fish. A little heavier on the beef than normal as my wife brought home a giant roast her mother had made! I’ll get back to normal next week.

Going back to my Base Case, you will notice that my carbohydrate intake remains elevated in part due to the 30 extra grams of fiber I’m consuming as part of the Prebiotic Case (fiber is counted as part of total carbohydrates).

I continue to eat about a cup of blueberries a day, and a half a cup of blackberries most days. I also have at least one large salad in the afternoon and often vegetables with dinner and lunch.


Sleep 20190310

Holding pretty well at my target of 6 hours and 40 minutes. As much as I’d like to get more, that seems unlikely and in any case, this is one of the variables that can affect the microbiota, so I should try to hold it constant.

Activity Level

Activity 20190310

My activity level was slightly elevated this week. I subbed two extra high-intensity fitness classes (helping out a colleague). I anticipate this number returning to between 2750 and 2850 next week.

As a reminder, I do teach regular group fitness classes as part of my wellness business (mostly during the week) and do some personal training. I also walk our dog a couple miles a day, so my activity level is usually pretty high.



Weight 20190310

Weight remains in a tight range. That’s pretty good for me given it is winter and this is when I tend to pack on some extra pounds.

You might notice that I don’t typically weigh myself on weekends. I find my schedule is less structured on weekends and so it can be a real challenge to consistently get a good weight measure at the same time, under the same circumstances, so I usually don’t bother so I avoid getting misleading results. (The time of day, when you last ate, those are all things that can affect the reading you get on the scale. Any material changes would show up Monday morning, which is a pattern that isn’t at all uncommon.


Thanks very much for stopping by. As I mentioned in the beginning, I only just this week received the Ubiome test results from the Prebiotic-Probiotic Case. I’ve barely skimmed them thus far, but there were some BIG changes that make perfect sense given the prebiotics I had added to my diet. This only reinforces the notion that what you eat definitely affects the makeup of your microbiota and affects it in testable, material ways.

That was always one of the goals of the MicrobioME Project. Another one was to examine if these changes in the microbiota can have any material effect on your overall health and fitness, as research has long suggested.

Both those goals will remain works in progress for some time I expect, although the first one appears to be reality. You really can alter the composition of your microbiota.

If you have any comments, observations, questions, please leave them below. You are an important part of the MicobioME Project as well!

Take care!