Rating based on our Sun Genomics Review
7 Facts about from our Sun Genomics Review
- Floré location: San Diego CA, USA
- Products: Gut microbiome testing, custom formulated probiotic supplements
- How it works: Customers take a gut microbiome test and receive probiotic recommendations
- Ordering: Gut test and supplements can be ordered at sungenomics.com
- Reports: Reports available through their app which includes diet and recipe tips
- Floré Cost: Gut Health Test ($119), Supplements ($225 per 3 months, less for subscribers)
- Complementary products: Nebula Genomics (whole genome sequencing for $299)
This is a review of Sun Genomics, a direct-to-consumer probiotic and gut health company. The founder of Sun Genomics Sunny Jain started the company in 2016 to advocate for health through personalized science. Frustrated by the one size fits all probiotic supplements available in pharmacies and supermarkets, Sunny created a consumer custom probiotics gut microbiome testing startup that could offer personalized probiotic solutions to consumers. Sun Genomics has launched medical and scientific products. The flagship health product of Sun Genomics Inc. is a consumer product: Floré. It focuses on the gut microbiome and personalized probiotic formulas. Sun Genomics claims that it is a first-of-its-kind, customized probiotics startup.
Floré by Sun Genomics is one of several companies in the probiotics market offering personalized probiotic supplements.
By sequencing the organisms contained in the customer’s submitted stool samples, the company identifies the customer’s unique gut microbiome and provides personalized recommendations.
Floré distinguishes itself in this market by being one of the only custom probiotic supplements with Kids, Tots, and Baby testing and formulations.
Floré collaborates with Arizona State University to study the connection between Autism/Asperger’s syndrome. One of their products (Floré Research Edition) is designed to help collect data for research while also improving customer’s gut health.
In the summer of 2020, Sun Genomics raised a series A funding round led by Pangaea Ventures with additional investments from Danone Manifesto Ventures, SOSV, Human Longevity, and Nascita Ventures.
Review of Sun Genomics Products
Floré by Sun Genomics is first and foremost a provider of probiotic supplements. Floré provides standalone microbiome testing and an app to quantify consumer’s gut health, but the real value is in the Sun Genomics customized probiotic system.
Custom Probiotic System and Gut Testing
Testing and custom supplement programs come in four different formats based on age:
|Product||Ages||Includes||Supplements||Price (One-Time / Subscription)|
|Floré Adults(1 month)||13+||Gut testing, probiotics (1 month)||One-a-day pills||$119|
|Floré Baby(3 months)||0-1||Gut testing, probiotics (3 months)||Powder, reduced concentration||$234 / $189.90|
|Floré Tots||1-3||Gut testing, probiotics (3 months)||Powder, reduced concentration||$234 / $189.90|
|Floré Kids(3 months)||4-12||Gut testing, probiotics (3 months)||Powder, reduced concentration||$234 / $189.90|
Customers can have their gut tested without committing to the supplements for $175. If they choose, they can order customized probiotics later.
Sun Genomics Standalone Products
After the first three months, Floré recommends re-testing so that they can create a new formula for you. However, if you are satisfied with your existing formula, you can re-order another three month supply. Floré also sells a standard formula for immune system improvement which includes vitamins, probiotics, and other ingredients. These products are summarized below:
|Product||Includes||Price (One-time / Subscribe)|
|Floré Precision Probiotic Refills||3 months of probiotic supplements (must already have a Floré formula)||$225 / $150.75|
|Floré Defense||1 month of vitamin and probiotic supplements||$69|
Floré Research Edition
Finally, Floré offers a Research Edition in conjunction with Arizona State University for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Customers must meet the following criteria to participate:
- Participant must be clinically diagnosed with ASD by a medical professional (and provide official documents)
- Participant must have not taken antibiotics in last 2 months
- Participant must not have had any changes in medications, nutritional supplements, therapies, in the last two months, or any plans to change them during the first 3 months of probiotic treatment.
The Research Edition costs $350 for three months. Participants are asked to participate for 6 months. During this time, they will submit samples twice (three months apart), and receive daily probiotic supplements.
Review of the Sun Genomics Science
Many researchers are working to understand the connection between the bacteria in the gut and human health. However, microbiome research is extremely complicated and there are still many unanswered questions.
There is solid evidence showing that probiotic supplements can help balance a person’s microbiome by introducing good bacteria into the gut. Evidence shows this could help with digestive health, improve the immune system, and even help with mental health. However, there are still a lot of things we don’t know about the microbiome and using probiotic supplements. Below is a quick review of what is known and what needs more research, published in the British Medical Journal in 2018.
|What we know||What we don’t know|
|Probiotic supplements can be beneficial to human healthGut microbes affect metabolismDiet and medication strongly affect microbesMicrobiome composition influences response to chemotherapy, immunotherapy and glucose response||Are food-based probiotics better than supplements?Should probiotics be taken as a preventative measure?|
Review of Sun Genomics Gut Health Test
Floré identifies the bacteria within a sample by sequencing and analyzing the RNA contained in the sample. This is similar to, but distinctly different from, DNA sequencing, and is covered in our Viome review.
Floré sequences the whole genome of the bacteria contained in your sample. This is similar to what we do at Nebula Genomics. Rather than sequencing specific regions of the bacteria’s RNA, Floré sequences it all, performing a full microbiome analysis.
Review of Sun Genomics Floré Precision Probiotic Supplements
Many companies offer probiotic supplements, often in the form of oral pills. This method is a convenient way for most people to take many supplements, but this is not necessarily true for probiotics.
Probiotics supplements are essentially collections of helpful gut bacteria. When taking a supplement, the bacteria is meant to pass through the stomach and into the gut and intestinal tract. As we described in our Thryve review, since probiotic supplements contain living bacteria, this task is not so simple and is an active area of research.
Floré’s adult probiotic supplements come in standard pill-form. However, the probiotic supplements designed for Kids, Tots and Babies are powdered and can be dissolved into drinks. This is a convenient feature, but it is unclear if Floré by Sun Genomics has considered how much living bacteria will make it into the gut with this method. Living bacteria are delicate and stomach acid may kill much of the helpful bacteria before they enter the gut.
Another issue some probiotic supplements have is shelf-life. Since the FDA does not regulate these sorts of products, it is hard to know the quality and quantity of living bacteria within a supplement. Floré ships their supplements in a temperature controlled package. It is recommended that supplements be kept cool (though Floré claims their supplements can survive 30 days with no refrigeration). This may not be the case with the powdered supplements.
Floré advertises that the probiotics in powder form are “lyophilized”, which is a type of freeze-drying technique for long-term storage of bacteria. The details of their technique are not shared, but it is worth noting that in many cases, freeze-dried bacteria have a long shelf-life when kept refrigerated. They can, however, die within a week at room temperature.
There is often a stigma attached to health supplements. Because they are not regulated by the FDA, there is generally very little oversight regarding how they are produced and what they contain. Also, producers of supplements are not necessarily held accountable for their claims. For this reason it is recommended that consumers be careful with which producers they choose to trust.
Review of Sun Genomics Test Process
The Floré process is similar to other microbiome testing companies. First, customers register their kit online. This makes sure Floré is able to connect you with your results and custom probiotics.
Completing a gut health test is simple, and Floré includes instructions on how to do it.
Once customers obtain their stool sample, they mail it to Floré using the included return packaging. After 6-8 weeks, Floré will share the results of the gut test with customers on their app and web portal.
The results customers receive include several gut health scores, information about the microbes found in the sample, recipes, and diet recommendations. The gut health scores compare the customer’s microbiome to what Floré considers a healthy and diverses microbiome. It is worth noting that the way Floré derives their score is a proprietary process and should be taken only as an estimate of gut health.
From the results, Floré develops a personalized probiotic blend for the customer and sends it directly to their registered address. Customers should be aware that many of the Floré products include auto-renewal for their testing and probiotic products.
Sun Genomics Reviews
There are not many Flor reviews on the web, but the reviews that are available are generally positive. Most reviews cite the simplicity of ordering and refilling their probiotics with or without a subscription to be a major positive. Very few reviews mentioned the products for children and babies.
Review of Sun Genomics Pros and Cons
- Simple process
- Whole Genome Sequencing of bacteria samples
- Offers a convenient subscription plan for supplements
- Personalized probiotic blends available based on your test results
- Supplements come in an attractive bamboo container
- Information and reports on the customer’s microbiome seems secondary. Very little information available about what’s included.
- Fairly expensive compared to competitors
- Powdered supplements may not be effective
- Supplementing your diet with probiotics is still a new, and not FDA regulated field
We finish our Sun Genomics review with a look at Nebula Genomics.
Personal genetic testing is very different from learning about your gut’s microbiome. However, both can help you and your health care providers make informed decisions about your diet and improve your health.
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.
You can sequence your entire genome with Nebula Genomics 30x Whole Genome Sequencing service. This process results in far more information than many other leading genetic testing companies. With Floré, you are limited to potentially answering one health question. With Nebula Genomics, you have the power to unlock questions that involve your entire genetic makeup.
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.
If you are interested in ways to improve your gut health, you may want to check out these alternative products: BIOHM ($129), Viome ($149-$349), or Thryve ($99).