Onegevity’s Microbiome Study Is Published: What Did We Learn?
We are excited to share the news that our study, “Improved Gastrointestinal Health for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Metagenome-Guided Interventions,” has been published in Precision Clinical Medicine. The goal of the study was to study the microbiome of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and to validate if our metagenomic-guided recommendations could lead to the improvement of their symptoms.
Let’s break down what we learned!
Irritable bowel syndrome is the most prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorder worldwide and the most common reason for patients visit gastroenterology clinics. The syndrome is classified into subtypes based on the predominant symptom: constipation (IBS-C), diarrhea (IBS-D), or mixed (IBS-M).
However, scientists and physicians still haven’t worked out all the details of exactly how to diagnose, treat, and resolve the frustrating and severe symptoms, usually trialing medications and restrictive diets as possible solutions. As a result, current IBS management guidelines are very symptom-specific and have mixed results because the treatment doesn’t always fix the underlying problem. But the underlying problem may be because of dysbiosis in the gut that one is unaware of.
The microbiome is the collective ecosystem of microorganisms that live in us, on us, and all around us. There have been ongoing trials to characterize and understand the dynamics of the human microbiome. Numerous studies reveal that the microbiome plays an integral role in our health. Indeed, several studies have explored the potential role the microbiome will play in future diagnostics and therapeutics for patients with IBS.
Onegevity sought out to use the latest in next-generation sequencing technology and metagenomics analysis to learn more about this potential.
Onegevity’s study included 88 individuals who had been diagnosed with IBS by their medical professional and a subset of “healthy” controls for comparison. Upon enrollment, each adult provided a stool gut microbiome sample for baseline sequencing and filled out an extensive health and symptoms survey. When they received their sequencing report, it included a targeted list of recommendations including dietary, supplement, prebiotic/probiotic, and lifestyle recommendations they were to follow for 30-days. Researchers checked in with them at day-15 to collect symptom information and make sure they were compliant with their personalized protocol, and again at day-30 to complete a second stool sample collection for gut microbiome analysis. After their second stool sample, participants completed a post-symptom survey.
The results were astonishing!
We put together some bullets of the most exciting study results.
1. Adults with IBS (IBS-D, IBS-C, and IBS-M) have distinct microbiome profiles.
Our analysis allows us to characterize the microbiome of a sample and provide a breakdown of the different microorganisms that make up the ecosystem of your sample. We are also able to characterize the predominant functional and biochemical pathways present in a sample. Our results showed that there are unique molecular signatures that distinguish the IBS subtypes. This information can help provide future targeted therapeutics.
2. It took as little as 15-days for symptoms scores to improve.
We developed a scoring symptom severity score based on the diagnostic criteria for IBS (Rome IV criteria) to create a quantitative metric of assessing the subjects’ gastrointestinal status. Overall, the interventions which consisted of dietary, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations led to a significant improvement of symptom scores, with individuals with IBS-M showing the most significant reduction in symptom scores.
3. The gut microbiome undergoes measurable and favorable changes in a month.
The study involved a baseline microbiome profile and then a post-intervention profile after the 30-day intervention period. Our metagenomics analysis revealed shifts in individuals' microbiomes after their diet, supplement, and lifestyle modifications. Moreover, we cross-validated these shifts with the latest literature and studies that reported and confirmed their association with an improvement of IBS symptoms.
Our understanding of the microbiome’s role in human physiology and disease is continuing to grow. The findings from this trial show there is evidence of gut microbiome consistencies across patients with IBS and the various subtypes (-C, -D, and -M), and those with IBS have different gut microbiomes than healthy adults. Additionally, we found that specific dietary interventions and the inclusion of a personalized nutrition plan including probiotics and prebiotics can lead to shifts in the microbiome and improve overall symptoms—in frequency, duration, and severity.
This study is limited in its sample size and scope; thus, the conclusions we can draw from these results have led our research team to continue exploring. Given the complex nature of IBS, our team is working on future studies with a larger and broader group of participants and more targeted analyses are needed to validate and explore these results further.
Measuring precise changes in the microbiome would not be possible without advanced metagenomic technology!
Advanced sequencing technology is what launched the field of precision medicine and is what has transformed the current paradigm of diagnosing and treating cancers because it allows for an in-depth and precise analysis. While once only used in research applications, metagenomic analysis is entering the clinical arena (doctors, hospitals, clinics), allowing healthcare
professionals more analytical precision to deeper-dive into biological samples to provide a more informed care plan.
Onegevity’s Gutbio was put to the test-- and it passed!
Onegevity’s GutbioTM utilizes the latest metagenomic sequencing technology to provide a comprehensive assessment of your microbiome as well as a personalized report with recommendations to empower you to take control of your gut issues.
Gutbio is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure IBS or any disease. Consult a qualified health-care practitioner.