Microbiome Snapshot Week Ending March 17, 2019

Microbiome Snapshot Week Ending March 17, 2019

Week Three of the Prebiotic Case Testing Period

March 11, 2019 through March 17, 2019

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This was supposed to be the final week of the Prebiotic Case testing period. I had hoped as of this writing to have already sent my sample to Ubiome. Well, the best-laid plans and all that. I’ll explain below, but first, a status update. (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: IN PROCESS

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


As I mentioned at the start, I had planned on this being the third and final week of the Prebiotic Case, however, I came down with a head cold early in the week and just couldn’t shake it in time to be able to have results that would not risk being corrupted by its effects.

My biggest concern was the lack of sleep I was getting. That’s one of the variables I monitor and try to hold constant while I adjust whatever other variable it is I am testing for. I need to do this as sleep, or the lack thereof, can have a material effect on the microbiota.

And while I could not find any direct research relating the impact having a cold could have on your microbiota (not to mention a single day taking an OTC cocktail of cough suppressant, decongestant, antihistamine, acetaminophen, and expectorant) together with the lack of sleep, had me convinced that it would be better to take one more week rather than potentially corrupt the results of the experiment.

One more week without taking probiotics, which is not a big deal, but it’ also one more week not eating yogurt. That, I’m unhappy with!

I otherwise feel fine. My system could probably use another week to adjust to all the additional prebiotic fiber, Including the Prebiotic-Probiotic Case. It has now been six weeks and I feel things continue to settle down.  I will likely return to some form of the Prebiotic-Probiotic Case after this, perhaps something a bit scaled down. The quantities I am taking now are pretty high, probably unreasonable for most people if only from a convenience and cost standpoint.

Regardless, details of the week past below!

Probiotic Supplementation

This was the week when I took absolutely no probiotics. Well, almost. You’ll note I popped one Great Oral Health probiotic on Thursday. I thought maybe it would help with my cold, but really, at that point my scratchy throat was long gone so I quickly abandoned the idea.

I also had one 5.3 oz. serving of Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt. It was expiring shortly, and would be inedible by the time I finished up the unplanned fourth week of the Prebiotic Case, so I figured one yogurt, a week-plus before I was going to test, wasn’t going to make any difference.

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.)

Probiotics 20190317

(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.

Prebiotic Supplementation

No changes here. This is what we’re testing for, and I had no reason to change anything. I actually purchased another sack of the LiveKuna Banana flour since I ran out at the very end of the week. I had other banana flour, but again, I wanted to hold everything constant as I am going to be comparing these results to those of the Prebiotic-Probiotic Case and I did not want to alter anything other than eliminating probiotics.

(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 20190317

(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 20190317

Despite my head cold, I was able to hold my diet steady from last week. This is right about where I want to be. I like to keep the macros within a percentage point or two of each other. Fiber continues to run high, but that is partly a function of all the prebiotic fiber I’m consuming as part of the Prebiotic Case I’m testing out. I did add some insoluble fiber to even out all that soluble prebiotic fiber, but I did that for the Prebiotic-Probiotic Case as well, so that’s something I will try to hold constant as well.

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, beef, chicken, and fish, pretty normal for me.

I continue to eat about a cup of blueberries a day, and a half a cup of blackberries most days. Raspberries enter the picture intermittently, and I did have a few servings of those as well. I continue to have at least one large salad in the afternoon and often vegetables with dinner and lunch.


Sleep 20190317

This one was a killer this past week. Over a half hour off my normal target of 6 hours and 40 minutes. That’s not huge, but huge enough, and I felt tired. That in and of itself was enough for me to want to postpone sampling given how sleep deprivation can impact the microbiota. Next week!

Activity Level

Activity 20190317

My activity level was right within my typical range of between 2750 and 2850 calories a day,

As a reminder, I am a group fitness instructor and personal trainer (part of my health, fitness, and wellness business, mostly during the week). We also have a dog who I walk a couple miles a day, so my activity level is usually pretty high.


Weight 20190317My weight became modestly elevated mid week which I think was a result of the head cold (I’m guessing I just didn’t move around as much outside of my work). It did start coming down as I felt better.

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. However, I did weigh myself this Sunday as a check to see if my weight was still getting under control post-cold. It was, so I should be good to go (barring some other surprise) for a collection sample next week.


Thanks very much for stopping by. I hope to have the results of my Prebiotic-Probiotic Case up in about a week (that post was delayed as I dealt with the head cold). I have started work on analyzing the data, and there are some fascinating results to report, so stay tuned for that.

Comments, observations, questions, are all welcome below in the comments section. Remember, you are a part of this, too!

Take care!