Soylent and uBiome - Gut microbiome sequencing


Hey Soylent users! Have any of you done microbiome profiling with uBiome? I have been ramping up my Soylent consumption over the last few weeks and will be sequencing my gut microbiome with uBiome soon. It would be great to compare data sets with light and heavy Soylent users and the general population to see if there are any significant differences between the microbiomes of people with Soylent diets and everyone else.



Should have done it before and after starting Soylent. Now you don’t know what the baseline was.


Agreed. Have to start somewhere though.


I’m not sure that doing that would tell you much. From what I’ve seen on the subject, the microbiome can change significantly from one hour to the next.

I’m not saying don’t do it. I think it would be interesting to see what results you get. But, I think the field is still too young to produce any currently useful results.


I agree. I would expect that in general the microbiome results are going to be pretty much on par with most of the population and generally not that interesting. However, two interesting questions can be tested on people who are getting a large portion of their diet from Soylent. The first is, does the Soylent user base have a different microbiome that the rest of the population. If not, then more positive news for Soylent. If so, then what is it that is causing it? Is it beneficial or detrimental? The second question is does the microbiome change when the calorie source is more homogeneous than the typical diet, and if so what do those changes mean.

I also agree that the field is too young to produce any interesting results. However, for the field to move forward the field will need data. The Soylent crowd is a great test bed to compare diet and microbiome effects. A few people, consuming most of their calories from Soylent, profiling their gut microbe every few months; that might be a nice little data set to start cracking into some of these questions.


How does one go about testing a gut biome? Knowing nothing about the process, my imagination takes me to some unpleasant, science-fictionish (or, alternatively, 7th grade) places when contemplating the mechanics of it.


Furthermore, I queried Zac recently on the case of that second writer and her experiment on intra-stool variation. And his answer was that this is not much of a surprise — intra-stool variation is expected, and that is why these services have specific collection instructions (swabbing toilet paper), so that the same area is sampled every time. So it seems that directly sampling stool, and in two different areas, circumvents the procedure that’s specifically designed to avoid this problem.