biohm-review

Biohm review – Are fungi the key to gut health?

Rating based on our Biohm review

7 Facts from our Biohm review

  1. Biohm location: Cleveland, OH
  2. Products: Gut Test that uses DNA sequencing to identify gut microbiome, multiple supplements that support gut health
  3. Ordering: Both the Gut Test and supplements can be ordered on biohmhealth.com. Supplements can also be ordered on Amazon.com
  4. Reports: Reports from the Gut Test provide an overall gut score, personalized information on microbe populations in the gut, and recommendations for improving gut health. 
  5. Cost: The Gut Test costs $129. Supplements vary from $24.99 to $44.99. 
  6. Alternative products: Thryve ($149), Viome ($149)
  7. Complimentary products: Nebula Genomics ($299 for 30x Whole Genome Sequencing)

Introduction

This is a review of Biohm, a health and wellness company that supports customer digestive health through a line of products that addresses both bacteria and fungi that live in the gut. The company was founded by Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum, Ph.D. in 2016. Dr. Ghannoum is a faculty member in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. 

He has over 40 years of experience in fungus research and has been awarded over $25 million in grant funds from the National Institutes of Health to study fungi. He used his expertise in the role of fungi and digestive plaques to establish Biohm, a company that supports overall wellness through optimizing gut and microbiome health. 

The first Biohm Probiotic supplement was designed to counter digestive plaque that builds up in the gut. Other supplements have been added to their product line, including additional probiotics and prebiotics. Biohm also developed a DNA test for digestive system health in which customers can sequence the DNA to identify the bacteria and fungi populating their gut. By understanding their balance of the entire microbiome, including fungi, Biohm believes customers can make more targeted decisions when choosing supplements.

Before you sequence your gut bacteria and take probiotics, you should sequence your own genome! Nebula Genomics offers the most affordable Whole Genome Sequencing. This is the most complete DNA test that decodes 100% of your DNA. Whole Genome Sequencing will enable you to learn more about your ancestry, and health than any other DNA test! Click here to learn more!

Review of Biohm Science

The products sold by Biohm aim to improve gut health through balancing the microbiome and the mycobiome in the gut. The human microbiome is composed of all the microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and others, that live on or in the human body. Beneficial bacteria have received particular attention recently as a source of protection against harmful bacteria and necessary for overall gut health. The mycobiome, coined by Biohm founder, Dr. Ghannoum, refers specifically to the collection of fungi in the body. 

When people experience an imbalance of bacteria and fungi in the gut, probiotics may be able to restore beneficial bacteria and improve digestive health. However, there is still more research that needs to be done on the exact effectiveness of probiotics. Some experts believe that the probiotic effect is less than it is often advertised. Additionally, since probiotics are classified as supplements, they are exempt from many regulations and side effects studies instituted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Biohm describes itself as “a tremendous breakthrough in probiotics”. Whereas most probiotics contain good bacteria alone, Biohm promotes bacteria and fungi working together. They achieve this goal by introducing good bacteria, good fungi, and other microbial balance ingredients.

Overview of Biohm probiotics.
Overview of Biohm probiotics.

The benefits of Biohm products begin by breaking down digestive plaques. Similar to how plaque builds up on teeth, bacteria, and fungi in the gut interact to form digestive plaques in the stomach. Such plaques protect harmful bacteria and fungi and cause issues such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and bloating. The key to avoiding these plaques is to maintain a good balance of bacteria and fungi in the gut. 

The good bacteria and fungi in Biohm products neutralize bad bacteria and fungi, leading to the breakdown of the digestive plaque. An additional digestive enzyme in the products helps the body obtain energy from food efficiently. The supplemental good bacteria and fungi help maintain the healthy balance of these organisms in the gut. 

Biohm help neutralize fungi and bacteria.
Biohm help neutralize fungi and bacteria.

Diet, alcohol use, and stress can all promote a microbial imbalance in the gut and increase the chances of digestive plaque formation. Genetics can also play a large role.  

Each person has a unique microbiome originally determined by their DNA and later influenced by environmental factors. Genes can influence the types and amounts of microbial organisms naturally present in the gut. 

A study published by a group of researchers at Cornell found that people with certain genes had a higher load of good microorganisms. These people tended to be naturally leaner. They also found that certain types of bacteria appear to be heritable. 

Review of Biohm Products

Review of the Biohm Gut Test

Biohm gut test package.
Biohm gut test package.

Biohm offers an at-home gut DNA testing kit that allows customers to sequence the DNA in their gut bacteria and fungi. Customers also receive recommendations, based on the kinds of microbes found, for improving their digestive health. 

The gut test and written recommendations cost $129. Customers can choose to supplement the written recommendations with a 30-minute consultation with a nutritionist. The test and the consult cost $149. Biohm is not covered by insurance although it may be eligible to be covered under HSA. 

Taking a Biohm Test

After purchasing a gut test, customers collect a fecal sample using the provided instructions and collection kit. A large enough sample for analysis will completely cover the white part of the swab. The customer then registers their collection tube and sends it to Biohm labs in the provided prepaid envelope. 

If a customer wants to see their natural microbiome, it is recommended that they stop taking vitamins and supplements. Alternatively, they can see what their microbiome looks like with these additions if they choose. If taking antibiotics, customers should wait 2 weeks after the final dose to collect their sample. This gives the antibiotic time to leave their system.  

Once the lab receives the sample, it passes through quality control to ensure that there is enough sample to process. If there is not enough, the customer will be notified. Once the lab confirms the sample is enough, results typically take 4-6 weeks. Customers will receive an email when their results are ready. They can access their report through their online gut test portal account. 

How to use Biohm kits.
How to use Biohm kits.

At the lab, DNA is extracted from the fecal sample, amplified via a PCR reaction, and collected. The bacterial and fungal DNA is sequenced so that the microorganisms can be identified. Each microorganism profile is analyzed and compared to levels in the general population. The final report is reviewed by a registered nutritionist who also provides recommendations on ways to balance overall digestive health.

A Biohm Report

The report is divided into four parts: 

  • Overall gut score
  • Comparison
  • Your gut’s bacterial and fungal communities
  • Actionable recommendations

A sample report is available here. Biohm founder, Dr. Ghannoum breaks down how to read and interpret your report in this YouTube video.

The overall gut score is provided on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being good.

The first part of the Biohm Gut Test provides an overall gut score on a scale from 1 to 10.
Biohm results.

The comparison section compares the customer’s levels of the 6 major bacterial communities and 4 major fungal communities to normal levels. A breakdown of strains is also included.

Bacterial composition of the gut.
Bacterial composition of the gut.

The third section compares a customer’s individual microorganism levels to normal levels. Microorganisms are classified either by phyla or individual species. For example, in this report, the customer’s actinobacteria phylum are high compared to the normal, balanced gut microbiome. The two species-level microorganisms identified, Bifidobacterium species and Collinsella aerofaciens, are within normal levels. 

The percentage levels indicate what percentage of the total microbiome is this phylum or species. Finally, the report also classifies each microorganism group as either beneficial, pathogenic, or neutral indicated by a (+), (x), or (-) before the scale respectively. 

The third part of the Biohm Gut Test identifies the specific bacteria in your gut and ranks them as low, normal, or high.

The final section provides personalized dietary, lifestyle, and supplemental recommendations that target overall digestive health. 

The final part of the Biohm Gut Test provides personal 
recommendations for maintaining a healthy gut.

As one would expect from a commercial company, final recommendations include Biohm supplement products.

Recommendations often include direction to Biohm supplement products.

Review of Biohm Supplements 

Biohm sells multiple supplements aimed at improving overall digestive health.

Probiotic Supplement

  • Purpose: Combines good bacteria and good fungi with a powerful enzyme to break down digestive plaque and address total gut balance.
  • Cost: $44.99
  • Ingredient List: B. breve, S. boulardii, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, Amylase, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule, Enteric Coating

Prebiotic Supplement

  • Purpose: Optimizes your gut’s probiotic environment by creating an ideal feeding ground for probiotic organisms
  • Cost: $29.99
  • Ingredient List: Inulin, Apple Pectin, Peptidase, Lipase, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule

Colon Cleanser

  • Purpose: Gives your colon an all-natural cleanse, allowing your system to start your optimal digestive journey.
  • Cost: $24.99
  • Ingredient List: Cascara Sagrada Bark, Psyllium Husk, Senna Leaf (20% Extract), Flaxseed, Aloe Vera Leaf, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Licorice Root, Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule

Immunity Probiotic

  • Purpose: Combines the power of BIOHM Probiotics with immunity boosting Vitamin C, supporting optimal immunity performance.
  • Cost: $36.99
  • Ingredient List: B. breve, L. acidophilus, S. boulardii, L. rhamnosus, Amylase, Vitamin C, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule, Enteric Coating

Organic Super Greens

  • Purpose: Fuse fruits, vegetables, and herbal extracts with BIOHM’s powerful probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes
  • Cost: $44.99
  • Ingredient List: Greens, Inulin, Adaptogens, Cruciferous Vegetables, Digestive enzyme blend (Amylase, Bromelain, Cellulase, Lipase, Papain, Protease)

Biohm also offers regimes in which customers can bundle their supplements and save money.

Nourish Regime

  • Purpose: To nourish and optimize your microbiome
  • Cost: $64.99
  • Supplements: Probiotic and Prebiotic

Reset Regime

  • Purpose: To cleanse, restore, and optimize your microbiome
  • Cost: $74.99
  • Supplements: Probiotic, Prebiotic, and Colon Cleanser

Privacy

If using the Gut Test, Biohm completes a DNA analysis only on the microorganisms found in the fecal sample. According to their Privacy FAQ page, Biohm does not share individual-level genetic data or survey responses with third parties. Relevant individual-level data is shared with genotyping laboratories and credit card processors. 

Personal information, such as name, email address, and survey responses, is communicated through Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology. The identity of bacteria and fungi identified in the customer’s gut is also classified as personal information. 

Biohm Reviews

Dr. Ghannoum’s discovery of the interaction between gut bacteria and fungi has been highlighted by news outlets including NPR, ABC News, USA Today, Forbes. He has also been featured in magazines such as Oprah Magazine and Women’s Health.

The Gut DNA Test earned a 3.8/5 star review from customers on Trustpilot. Most customers indicated that the test was worth the money and time and that they received valuable information. The low reviews tended to report problems with their sample, including samples that could not be analyzed. 

Biohm sells most of its supplement products on Amazon.com, including their probiotic, prebiotic, and probiotic with super greens. With about 300 reviews, each product has received a 4.6/5 rating or higher. 

Review of Biohm Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Supplements are vegetarian, egg-free, non-GMO, no synthesis, and soy-free
  • Access to registered nutritionists
  • A DNA test available 
  • Developed by scientists

Cons

  • Long processing time (~ 7 weeks)
  • Sometimes sample cannot be analyzed
  • DNA testing is limited to microorganism identity in the gut
  • Microbiome research and the benefits of probiotics are still in the early stages

Nebula Genomics

We finish our Biohm review with a look at Nebula Genomics.

Because the types and amount of microorganisms in our gut is determined by genetics, taking a DNA test may inform customers whether they should take supplements. Biohm offers a DNA test that identifies bacteria and fungi in the gut and compares them with normal levels. While gut health is useful, it is only a small part of the potential information your DNA can unlock. A single gut test with Biohm is currently under promotion for $129 (the original price is $179). 

For just about double that price ($299), you can sequence your entire genome with Nebula Genomics 30x Whole Genome Sequencing service.  We determine 100% of your DNA, not just a snapshot. Health and wellness often involve multiple systems. Having the opportunity to analyze your entire genome, you are setting yourself up to answer overall health questions as they arise. 

Your microbiome changes constantly. The results from a DNA test at one point may not be accurate at a later time. If you are taking supplements, you can only identify the microorganisms that are present as you are taking them. Alternatively, you can only identify your native microorganisms if you choose to stop taking supplements. 

By sequencing your permanent genome, you have lifetime access to your genes that will stay the same throughout your life.

Even though your genome stays the same, research is constantly evolving. The Nebula Library is a collection of reports based on the latest genetic discoveries. It is updated weekly with over 150 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and new reports added with each update. 

Through purchasing the whole genome sequencing service, you have access to personalized reports that reflect your genome. You can also upload existing DNA data from sites like 23andMe or Ancestry to unlock these reports. 

Did you like our Biohm review? Take a look at our Viome review and more reviews here!

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