Recent paper questions reliability of microbiome testing for personalized nutrition intervention

Microbiome testing alone may not be mature enough to provide actionable information in devising lifestyle and nutrition interventions, says the recent paper.

A recent peer-reviewed perspective paper published in Current Developments in Nutrition analyzed the current research on gut microbiome testing and how it may inform custom nutritional intervention. Authored by the science team at Cambridge, MA-based InsideTracker, a platform that uses blood biometric, DNA insights and physiobiomarkers to create custom nutrition and lifestyle plans, and InsideTracker scientific advisory board member Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FACN, CNS, professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University (Boston, MA), the paper argues that microbiome analysis is not yet mature enough to be used reliably in creating custom health interventions, in and of itself.

This is because of the lack of reproducible microbiome associations across independent studies, as well as inconsistent documentation of sampling collection and processing, and no standardized data processing and analytical methods. According to the paper, “until microbiota associations are more consistently replicated, and randomized clinical trials and/or other longitudinal cohort approaches revealing causal effects of modifying the microbiome on wellness (not just clinical) phenotypes, the interpretation of individual microbiomes toward personalized recommendations remains a challenge.”


  1. Nogal B et al. “Gut microbiota-informed precision nutrition in the generally healthy individual: are we there yet?” Current Developments in Nutrition, vol. 5, no. 9 (2021)