Monday, September 16, 2019

Viome - trying to prove that my calling them "The Theranos of Microbiome Companies" was an understatement ...

A month or so I wrote the post below that I thought was an example of really bad misleading advertising.  And it is indeed.  But keep reading past the discussion of this ad, because today I got a much worse example.

Post I drafted a month ago but did not actually make public:

Uggh.  This is just such BS.  I saw a Viome ad on Facebook.

 

Here is the text:

DNA tests can tell you a lot about where you came from.
Your past. Your family history, and your ancestry.
But that doesn’t help you right now.
That doesn’t help you today.
DNA tests also told her what foods were best for, but the recommendations never changed, even as symptoms got worse.
Just like you, Kelly wanted to know how to make the most of her health.
DNA tests told Kelly what diseases she was more at risk for genetically,
but they don’t give her any actionable advice on how to lower that risk.
Frustrated with generic guidelines like “exercise more and eat healthy,” Kelly finally found Viome, and it made all the difference.
That’s because Viome didn’t test her DNA. Viome tested the RNA of the microbes that make up Kelly’s gut microbiome to tell her what her microbes were up to and how they were affecting her.
The same microbes that are responsible for making most of the neurotransmitters, nutrients, and other compounds her body needs to be healthy.
Just like Kelly’s microbes eat what Kelly eats, your microbes eat what you eat, and if they don’t get the right foods at the right time, they begin making compounds that contribute to chronic inflammation.
That means:
Poor sleep,
Bloating,
Weight gain (the bad kind),
And a significantly increased risk for all kinds of chronic diseases.
Once Kelly got her Viome results, she knew which foods she needed in her unique personalized diet to boost the good guys (and which foods to avoid!) to take action to improve her health.
You can do the same thing as Kelly using the Viome Gut Intelligence Test.
End the guesswork and take charge of your health.
Order your Viome Gut Intelligence Test today.

And the key part that is completely bogus -

Once Kelly got her Viome results, she knew which foods she needed in her unique personalized diet to boost the good guys (and which foods to avoid!) to take action to improve her health.
There is simply no evidence that Viome can use microbiome analysis to tell anyone (Kelly or others) which foods you need and which to avoid to boost one's microbiome.

And I did not make the post public because, well, I was busy and really did not fell like picking yet another fight with what I consider to be the scam artists at Viome.  And then I saw another ad a few minutes ago that is even more egregious, also from Viome.

This one comes with some text and then a scrollable series of images.  And the sum total of it is just some absurd snake oil





Here are the scrollable images from the ad



And here is the text if you want to dig into it without looking at my screen captures.

Hate wrinkles?
Maybe it’s the rows of creams, gels, lotions, vitamins and mysterious liquids with ingredient names you can’t pronounce listed in fine print on the back, that you pay for every month, that you really hate.
They’re all part of a time consuming, morning, and evening ritual that seems to get longer every few months (with each new product added).
Sound familiar?
They pull you in promising “age-defying” or “anti-aging” effects that always fall flat.
And the products that actually do work seem to only work temporarily.
(But they always have a more expensive cream for you to buy that does just a little more).
The problem is that at best they only hide the symptoms.
Because they don’t address the actual problem.
Sound familiar? 
If you want your skin to be healthy, you need to take care of all of the different parts of your body that affect it, specifically your microbiomes. 
You have an entire ecosystem living on your skin.
Colonies of helpful microbes live on your skin, and they actively help fight against harsh environments and protect against allergens. 
And guess what directly affects your skin microbiome?
Your gut microbiome. 
An unbalanced gut microbiome can lead to **chronic inflammation.**
Chronic inflammation has been shown to cause **leaky gut syndrome.**
Leaky gut syndrome allows toxins and other harmful materials to escape from the gut into the body.
Then your immune system jumps in to fight the toxins being released by your gut.
That’s a problem for your skin,
Because your immune system helps repair the normal wear-and-tear your skin takes every day.
If your immune system is too busy fighting off toxins escaping your gut, it won’t be able to help repair your skin as much as it does when you’re healthy.
Gut Health = Skin Health
Your gut health is directly related to what you eat. Everyone’s gut microbiome is unique, and the only way to see what your little critters need to give you a healthy and balanced gut is to have a look in and see.
That’s what Viome does. 
The Viome Gut Intelligence Test sees exactly what’s in your gut, and what it’s doing. Then based on these results, provides customized diet recommendations designed to balance your gut microbiome in order to: 
Minimizing inflammation,
Protecting against leaky gut syndrome,
Allowing your skin to heal and glow, naturally.

This is just completely ridiculous.  For just $129 Viome is going to do some microbome mumbo jumbo magic and tell you what foods you should eat to make your skin glow.  There are two possibilities here - they don't use the microbiome analysis at all for this and tell you things you could have found out from a google search.  Or, they analyze the microbiome and make recommendations that have no basis in science.  Either way, this is true microbiomania. 

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