Your gut microbiome is as unique as your fingerprint – but it says much more about your health. Scientists are currently investigating numerous connections between your microbiome and health. For example, there is mounting evidence that bacteria in the gut microbiome influence how quickly you gain and lose weight. The diversity of your gut flora is quite possibly related to gut health and the risk of illnesses. The right intestinal bacteria protect the body from diseases and digestive problems.
- Take your sample at home – conveniently and discreetly
- Receive a state-of-the-art DNA analysis
- Gain insights into the composition of your intestinal microbiome
- Get tips for your intestinal health
- Receive the result within three weeks after your sample’s arrival at the laboratory
Information about the Gut Microbiome Test
Take a stool sample
The Gut Microbiome Test comes with two stool collection aids and a sample tube with a collection spoon, which you can use to take a small stool sample yourself at home. The stool collection aid allows the sample to be collected easily and hygienically.
Activate your Gut Microbiome Test
Activate the test ID listed on the test ID card in your secure My cerascreen® user profile on our website or on our app. You will then need to answer a few questions, so that we can send you personalised recommendations.
Send your stool sample
Send the sample tube containing the stool sample back to us using the free return shipping.
In the medical partner laboratory, your stool sample is examined for the composition of your gut bacteria via state-of-the-art DNA analysis.
You will receive your personal results report with a detailed analysis of your intestinal flora. Among other facts, you will learn more about the diversity of intestinal bacteria and the balance between good and bad bacteria.
High quality standards
The samples taken with the cerascreen® send-in tests are evaluated in specialised diagnostic laboratories, with which doctors and clinics work as well. All of our laboratory partners meet our high quality standards.
Why test your Gut Microbiome?
The gut microbiome, or gut flora, is a mirror of your health condition. Intestinal bacteria are important for your digestive and immune systems and are influenced by your lifestyle. An unhealthy or imbalanced diet, harmful substances, smoking, antibiotics and stress can throw the microbiome out of balance. Scientific studies indicate that this has an effect on digestion and can even increase your body weight.
Conventional intestinal flora tests analyse the stool sample by placing it in a Petri dish and looking at it through a microscope. However, this method only shows a section of the gut microbiome. rRNA sequencing is a more accurate, modern and diagnostic method that is used for the cerascreen® Gut Microbiome Test. It involves analysing the DNA of all bacteria in the stool sample.
DNA analysis of gut microbiome is usually not carried out by a medical practitioner. With the cerascreen® Gut Microbiome Test, you do not have to go to a clinic and do not have to wait for appointments. You will receive detailed, illustrated instructions and can take the sample quickly, conveniently and discreetly from home. You will then receive your individual gut microbiome profile.
Read more about why your gut flora is important
Results report of the Gut Microbiome Test
As soon as your sample has been evaluated, you will receive your results report via the My cerascreen® app or your user account on our website. You can easily view the report on your smartphone, tablet or computer and print it out, if required.
Find out in the laboratory analysis what condition your gut microbiome is in. You will receive a breakdown of the most important bacterial strains in your gut and their relationship with each other. Learn from our clear recommendations about how to maintain healthy gut flora through nutrition, prebiotics and probiotics and nutritional supplements. Extensive health guidance explains the links between intestinal bacteria and health.
FAQs about gut microbiome testing
Why take the Gut Microbiome Test?
Do you wonder why you gain weight faster than others? What does the diet do to the bowels? Where do tummy rumbles and digestive problems come from? Why do I have a constant cold? Is my bowel healthy – and how do I actually find out? If this sounds familiar, the Gut Flora Test is just right for you. Because the bacteria in your gut reveals answers to these and other questions.
Studies indicate that our gut microbiome controls how quickly we gain weight, how well we digest carbohydrates, fat and other nutrients, how effectively our immune system fights off pathogens and much more.
The intestinal bacteria even transmit signals to the brain and may be related to your mood and the emergence of depression. If you learn more about your intestinal flora, you will gain insights into your physical and mental health as well.
All these and other topics are currently the subject of exciting scientific research, on which we keep you up to date in our Health Portal and our newsletters.
We still talk far too rarely about digestive problems and the gut. Unfortunately, these are still often topics that fall by the wayside. The cerascreen® Gut Microbiome Test gives you insights into your intestinal health and you can carry out the test discretely at home – simple, fast and safe.
Who should take the Gut Microbiome Test?
The Gut Microbiome Test is worthwhile for every adult (as of 18 years) who wants to learn more about the complexity of their gut.
The Gut Microbiome Test is also interesting for people who have to take antibiotics frequently. Because antibiotics do not just kill harmful bacteria, they can also disturb the good gut bacteria and reduce their diversity. After a course of antibiotics, it can take up to six months for the gut flora to recover.
Other factors that affect your gut microbiome include your genetic predisposition, medication, smoking, stress and environmental influences. A Gut Flora Test can therefore be particularly interesting if you take medication regularly, smoke or are under stress constantly.
How does the Gut Microbiome Test work?
To get your gut microbiome tested, you take a small stool sample yourself at home. To do this, use the stool collection aid and a collection spoon, both of which are included in the Gut Flora Test kit. Then send the sample in a sample collection tube to the medical laboratory using the provided prepaid return envelope.
The medical laboratory then uses modern biotechnology to analyse the DNA of the intestinal bacteria contained in the sample and compares it with the gene sequences of known bacteria. The analysis can take up to two weeks.
Caution: You should not do the Gut Microbiome Test if you suffer from diarrhoea or acute gastrointestinal infection.
What do I have to bear in mind when I take the sample?
The stool sample can be collected in the convenience of your home – simply, quickly and discretely. The Gut Microbiome testing kit includes detailed and illustrated instructions that explain all steps of the procedure in detail. There are a few things you need to bear in mind:
A bean-sized sample of your stool needs to be collected in the sample tube. Simply collect 3-4 small samples with the provided spoon that you find attached to the lid of the tube. If the sample is a little larger, this is not a problem.
The sample tube contains a DNA-stabilising liquid that mixes with the stool sample and ensures that the sample remains durable for a certain time. The sample does not have to be completely dissolved in the liquid. It is sufficient if the sample and liquid mix well.
You should in any case avoid direct contact with the DNA-stabilising liquid. The liquid can irritate your skin and eyes.
Because of the DNA-stabilising liquid, the sample is durable for a longer period of time; however, we recommend to send your sample to our medical partner laboratory on the day you collect your sample by using the free return envelope.
What does the result report tell me?
The results report contains a profile of your gut microbiome. This gives you a detailed insight into the composition of the bacteria that colonise your intestine. The results report also compares your results with the data of a healthy comparison group.
You will learn about your measured values: 1. species richness and diversity index: What is the diversity of bacteria that colonise your intestine? 2. Dysbiosis index: Is there an imbalance between "good" and "bad" bacteria in your gut? 3. Enterotype (intestinal type): Do you have the flora of a meat-eater or vegetarian? 4. Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes and Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio: Does your intestinal flora possibly contribute to a possible rapid weight gain? 5. Composition of bacterial strains (phyla): How are the four strains Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria & Actinobacteria distributed in your gut? Overview of all bacteria: Which functional bacteria and which species and genera occur within the bacterial strains?
More about these results and what they mean you can find out in answers further down on this page.
What is the gut microbiome?
Intestinal bacteria, intestinal fungi and other tiny organisms form your individual intestinal flora. Hundreds of millions of such microorganisms live in your gut – and they can grow to a total mass of 1.5 kilograms! The scientific term used today for the intestinal flora is the intestinal microbiome.
The intestinal flora performs important tasks and is closely linked to health in the whole body. The intestinal bacteria determine how your gut utilises food and how well the immune system is set up. The intestinal microbiome even impacts the brain and influences your mood and psyche.
If the complex gut microbiome is out of balance, it affects the whole body. Researchers suspect that an imbalance of bacteria in your gut causes digestive problems, abdominal pain, frequent infections and exhaustion, among other things.
What is the purpose of the gut microbiome?
Intestinal bacteria are an integral part of healthy digestion. In addition, they contribute to a strong immune system and perform a number of other tasks. Some known tasks include the following:
Digestion: Among other things, the intestinal bacteria produce vitamins and essential amino acids from food, as well as the butyrate, which contributes to gut health.
Immune system: The largest part of your immune system is located in the intestine. Therefore, gut microbiome plays a major role in strengthening these defences and keeping pathogens away. Scientific studies even suggest that healthy gut flora can ward off allergic reactions.
A gut feeling:There is probably a lot more to the term ‘gut feeling’ than we suspected. Researchers have discovered that gut bacteria also communicate with the brain. That way, the gut microbiome probably influences feelings and moods and can even have an effect on how depression develops.
Why is the biodiversity of bacteria important?
Biodiversity describes how many different types of bacteria exist in your gut flora. Simply put, the more types of bacteria, the better it is for your health. For instance, scientists believe that greater diversity helps prevent diseases and obesity.
With the diversity index given in the results report you will learn whether the bacterial species in your gut are fairly evenly distributed or if certain species of bacteria dominate your bowel.
What is the dysbiosis of the gut?
There are bacteria in your gut that scientists consider to be positive for your health; however, there are also bad gut bacteria. The good bacteria usually represent the majority, and a certain number of bad bacteria is still important for stimulating the immune system.
If you are experiencing dysbiosis, this simply means that your microbiome is out of balance. In this case, bad gut bacteria is more present in your bowel. The dysbiosis index in the results report of the cerascreen® Gut Microbiome Test can be used to define and determine a possible imbalance.
Many of the bad bacteria are found, for example, in people who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. As a result, researchers suggest shifting the balance of bacteria in favour of the positive ones.
What is a gut type?
Scientists classify the gut microbiome into different gut types, or ‘enterotypes’. Which gut type you have depends on the foods that you eat. Depending on your diet, your intestines require different bacteria to make the best use of the food.
There is a significant difference between people who consume a lot of animal fats, protein and sugar and those who eat mainly vegetarian food. The groups can be divided into these gut types:
B-type: In the guts of people who eat a lot of meat and rather few vegetables, the bacterial strain Bacteroides often predominates. The gut requires these bacteria in order to make best use of meat. Bacteroidetes then produce vitamins that are rare in a meat-based diet, such as vitamin C.
P-type: In the guts of people who consume mostly vegetables – for instance, vegetarians and vegans – the Prevotella bacteria often predominate. These bacteria utilise dietary fibres and other carbohydrates. In that process, they produce, among other things, folic acid and healthy short-chain fatty acids.
How does gut microbiome impact body weight?
Scientists believe that the ratio of certain strains of bacteria influences weight gain as well as fat loss. The results report of the Gut Microbiome Test will give you an indication of whether possible weight problems that you experience may be related to your gut flora.
The ratio of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes:
A large proportion of intestinal microbiome belongs to the two strains Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Some scientific studies point to the fact that people in whom the Firmicutes are predominant are more likely to be overweight than those who had more Bacteroidetes in their gut.
This is most likely due to the fact that Firmicutes bacteria can draw a larger amount of energy from foods – and this energy is then stored as fat cells.
The ratio of Prevotella to Bacteroides:
Studies show that people who have a ratio of more Prevotella bacteria than Bacteroides bacteria break down fat faster and tend to lose weight when they follow a high-fibre diet.
Which bacteria are examined in the Gut Microbiome Test?
The results report gives you results for all intestinal bacteria in your gut microbiome.
This includes the upper categories of the bacterial phyla, that is the four strains Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria.
With the Gut Microbiome Test, you will also find out which functional bacteria have been detected – these include bacteria that contribute to the formation of the intestinal mucosa and those that are potentially pathogenic.
Finally, you will receive a list of all bacteria in your sample, including the various species and genera within the strains.
What kind of recommendations will I receive?
The results report of the Gut Microbiome Test will explain how you personally can contribute to maintaining a healthy and balanced gut flora in day-to-day life. Surely the most important role is that of your diet.
A balanced diet also contributes to different intestinal bacteria and can thus contribute to diverse gut microbiome. Dietary fibres, secondary plant compounds and probiotics as well as prebiotics are generally positive for your intestinal health.
A generally mindful lifestyle also has a positive effect – for example, through regular exercise and healthy body weight.
For whom is the Gut Microbiome Test not intended?
The Gut Microbiome Test is not or only partially suitable for certain groups of people:
People with infectious diseases, like hepatitis and HIV, may not use the Gut Microbiome Test.
People with haemophilia should not take the test.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should only take the Gut Microbiome Test under medical supervision. The given reference ranges and recommendations do not apply to people in this group; consult your medical professional for advice concerning your test results.
The Gut Microbiome Test is not intended for children under 18 years of age.
The test is not intended for diagnosing illnesses or disease. For example, if you suffer from depression or are in physical pain, consult a doctor.
‘“Life (or death) is in the gut ” – The gut flora analysis finally provides me with an easily understandable and comprehensive insight into the state of my microbiome.’
‘I demand a lot from my body, and the test helps me to control my intestinal health without taking up my time and that of a doctor. It is convenient, and the results report is very easy to understand.’