Viome: The Groundbreaking Revolution in Healthcare
Viome: The Groundbreaking Revolution in Healthcare
I’m excited to share some revolutionary Viome news in natural health from two amazing people: Naveen Jain and his partner Dr. Helen Messier. Naveen has made a lasting impression in the business world. He has been named Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Silicon India’s “Most Admired Serial Entrepreneur,” and the receiver of “Albert Einstein Technology Medal” for his pioneers in technology. Red Herring also recognized him as one of the “Top 20 Serial Entrepreneurs” and with the “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Dr. Messier is a board-certified family practitioner and has a PH.D. in molecular biology and immunology.
While these are very impressive accolades, more important to me is the information they are bringing to natural health world with Viome. I truly believe Viome will revolutionize the way people are treated and transform healthcare as we know it.
For years, I’ve talked about the role of the microbiome and its effect on epigenetics. This basically means studying the bacteria, fungus, and viruses that are in and around us and how they affect us at the cellular level. As we learn more about these organisms, we discover the impact they have on the expression of our DNA for better or worse.
As many of my readers know, I’m a big proponent of ancient healing strategies such as intermittent fasting, True Cellular Detox™ and my MTA three legged stool. I’ve always wondered about the degree of influence these microorganisms have on our overall health. Thanks to Naveen and Dr. Messier, we may now have our answer.
Are You a Bad Host?
When we think of a nice host, we envision someone inviting us to his or her home for an enjoyable get-together. On the flipside, a bad host is someone who doesn’t make us feel comfortable. They aren’t very hospitable and seem to attract the wrong crowd. Instead of staying, we’d prefer to leave as quickly as possible. The same idea applies to our bodies.
According to Naveen, the reason we get sick and spend billions of dollars on medicines and don’t feel better is because we are bad hosts. Most the cells in our bodies have microorganisms in them and on them. These microorganisms keep us healthy by fighting off the viruses and bad bacteria that constantly bombard us. They are on our skin, in our saliva, in our guts, and so on. In other words, if we aren’t a good host to these organisms, we increase our risk of getting sick because the bad ones will move in and take their place. If this happens, we’ll increase our risk of dealing with a variety of health issues. The majority of these organisms are in our gut, and taking care of our microbiome should be a top priority because this is where most diseases originate.
The Role of the Microbiome
The microbiome is extremely important and has a greater impact on our overall health and well-being than people may realize:
- Digests food
- Can impact our mood
- Makes essential nutrients
- Regulates appetite
- Controls immune system
- Controls metabolism
- Changes genetic expression
Extensive research is being conducted on the microbiome and the results are surprising. For example:
- Autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia are associated with dysfunction in the microbiome.1
- Other studies indicate that changes in gut microbiota can influence the susceptibility of the host to different diseases.2
- A dysregulation of the gut microbiome has been linked to Crohn’s Disease in the Ryukyu Islands.3
Until now, we were unable to look at the microbiome in enough detail to understand what it really does and how it can influence everyone. But we know that we humans are all pretty similar when it comes to genetics. We share genes, and they can transfer from generation to generation. However, when we look at our microbiome, we are all noticeably different. Our microbiome is similar our fingerprints: each person is unique. For example, microbiomes are so exceptional that forensic experts often use microorganisms to identify individuals. Moreover, studies indicate the microbiome between obese and lean twins is different: Heavier twins are known to have a poor combination of microbes in the gut compared to their leaner twins.1
It’s important to note that the toxins that we encounter on a daily basis can alter our microbiome. Even the antibacterial soaps and sanitizers we are told to use can have a negative effect on our microbiome health. We know these products kill the bad germs, but they also kill the good germs, leaving us susceptible to disease.
Diseases of the Gut?
I asked Naveen how the disruption of the microbiomes in the gut affect us. I’m a big proponent of not just looking at the symptom, but going upstream to find out why we’re sick. Focusing on the symptom does nothing to fix us, it’s just a temporary Band-Aid to feel better. According to Naveen, our microbiomes play a larger role in health status than we originally believed:
“…90% of serotonin is produced in our gut… So think about it: serotonin is the chemical that makes us feel good, and when it’s not being produced, we feel depressed, we have things like anxiety, ADHD and so on. And now, they are finding even the things like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, these diseases are not actually diseases of the brain, they are diseases of the gut. It starts in the gut. All the chronic inflammation is what causes all of the diseases.
“So when you start to think about the autoimmune diseases and you start to think about all the chronic inflammation that’s causing these diseases, it’s because we’re carpet bombing our body. When you eat bad, processed food or when you take antibiotics, it is literally carpet bombing the whole ecosystem. And when we kill this ecosystem, we start to ask ourselves ‘why am I getting unhealthy?’
“It is because there’s no precise medicine. So when we get sick we give them antibodies. But it’s not just killing the pathogens, its killing the good stuff around us. And that’s why we’re constantly getting all these diseases….taking care of your gut, taking care of your bacteria is the key. We need to be less hygienic. We need to be one with the system in the nature. And the more we’re able to become one with the nature, the better we are.
“We are constantly washing our hands with the antibacterial soap, killing all those microbes. We don’t eat with our hands. Everything is hygienic, and that is the problem. Another problem we see is a lot of the babies born via caesarian section. They’re not really getting the microbiome from the mom like they used to get, and that’s another big problem. All the things we are thinking we are doing for the safety of humans is essentially making us so clean that it’s getting rid of all the things that make us feel good.”
Ironically, physicians have been aware of tests that checked levels of microbes in the body for quite some time. They see a balance of various bacteria, but they have failed to investigate further because of poor testing methods. Tests were mostly useless because they didn’t differentiate between the trillions of bacteria in the gut. It’s important to remember that different bacteria have different functions, but those tests didn’t break them down and analyze their functions. Thanks to Naveen and Viome, we now have this ability.
Getting to the Source
Viome’s new technology came out of Los Alamos National Lab. Billions of dollars were spent to come up with the technology to understand every strain of bacteria in the gut and blood. For the first time, we can look at the bacteriophage, which are the viruses that impact our bacteria and microorganisms. Not only do we know who and what they are, we know exactly what they are doing.
These tests are very detailed and paint a clear picture of what’s going on in our microbiomes. Since we have different lifestyles and experiences, we can’t compare one person to another so we each must take our own test. The tests can determine deficiencies or if one’s body is unable to function properly in ways that haven’t been tested before, discovering answers to questions like like:
- Can the body create vitamin B6 efficiently?
- Is it able to adequately absorb vitamin D from the sun?
- How much bad bacteria is currently in the body?
These are just a few examples of what these tests can uncover. By analyzing the results, it can be determined if a person’s cellular pathways are compromised. The bacteria needed to complete those functions are then identified and built up by eating a healthy diet specifically designed for that person’s unique needs.
Not All Diets are the Same
We know the importance of eating a healthy diet. Many times I have talked about the dangers of eating foods that are processed and high in toxic fat, sugar and genetically modified ingredients. We know to avoid this junk, but it’s also important to note many foods considered “healthy” are not as beneficial as mainstream media leads many to believe. Dr. Helen Messier elaborates:
“We know that no two people respond to the same diet the same way. Even Hippocrates said way back when ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison.’
“We know there are a lot of people proclaiming a specific diet that works great for one person, but doesn’t work for another because we’re all so genetically and biochemically unique. So what we’re doing is a test to look at how do you process the different foods and food groups? The number of ratio of carbohydrates to fats and proteins that are right for you?
“There are certain foods we think are good for everybody. We know there are bad foods that are bad for everyone, but there are good foods that are better for one person than another. So, we will be able to monitor and establish that as well and see how the microbiome affects that.”
For example, spinach is considered a superfood, but spinach is high in oxalates, which can lead to the formation of kidney stones. As a result, individuals with calcium oxalate kidney stones should consult with their doctor before eating spinach.
What makes the testing that Naveen and Dr. Messier are doing with Viome so unique is the fact that it is not a typical test that’s completed once. Viome offers a full service of making personalized recommendations that are adapted as they learn how the body reacts to changes over time. The key is to follow through and change nutrition and lifestyle habits and observe how the body adapts on a continual basis. This is not a “one health plan fits all” type of program.
Clinically, I see many possibilities. We are currently coaching clients in a variety of ways to improve health, but don’t know exactly how certain tools are influencing epigenetics or changing cell function. Viome offers a way for practitioners to learn how different healing strategies help each person change health outcomes.
I’ve written and spoken extensively on the benefits of intermittent fasting. I feel this is one of the keys to living a healthy life and has a big impact on the microbiome. What makes Viome so great is now we can see how fasting affects cellular function. Exciting!
Thanks to modern technology, testing is a simple process. Samples are collected at home and completed with a single pinprick, stool or urine sample. A person does not have to go to a lab or have any bloodwork. Highlighted is the importance of individualized testing.
For example, Dr. Messier recently had a client who was pre-diabetic for years. After reading many books and consulting with physicians, he concluded that a high fat/low carb diet was the key to keeping his blood sugar levels in check. Even though he was meticulous with his diet and meal plan, his sugar levels weren’t decreasing, they were actually increasing. He was creeping closer to becoming a full-fledged diabetic.
After Dr. Messier tested his microbiome, it was discovered he needed more complex carbohydrates in his diet. He also needed to eat at certain time intervals throughout the day. These small dietary changes made a tremendous difference in his health. While the diet he was on originally may have worked for others, it wasn’t the right diet for him. The Viome testing was able to detect what wasn’t working.
As noted, even though a food may be considered “healthy,” it may not work for you. This is why I’m leery of the advertisements for various food products that promise results. The “cookie-cutter” philosophy won’t work for every person. This testing supports my Diet Variation method. A person can be following a particular diet that isn’t working as well as we’d hoped, or stop seeing results. We then modify the diet for a period of time, then change the diet again and the person start to see results like magic.
I hypothesize newfound success after diet change could be due to microbiome change. The key is to refine the diet over time. Our ancestors shifted diets seasonally by necessity. As the climate changed, so did eating habits. We don’t do this today. Food that is out of season can be transported around the world. As a result, diet variation is all but nonexistent.
Diet variation is beneficial because our bodies change over time. For example, many people will assume if they find a diet that works for them, they should stay with that diet forever. This is a mistake, because we experience many changes throughout our lives. We can have different stressors that change our microbiomes.
Think of exercise: if we do the same workout every day without any variation, the body will become stagnant and gains will be harder to attain. The same rationale applies to diet. The key is to periodically make changes to maintain (or attain) good health.
I learned this by studying American Indians in Wyoming. Their diet in the winter was different from their diet in the summer: they were in ketosis during the winter and ate more meats and higher fat, whereas in the summer they ate more complex carbs like fruits and veggies. I discovered they were able to eat more carbohydrates in the summer than they could in the winter without negative impact on their bodies or overall health. This was due to the increased sunlight, which altered their microbiomes. Vitamin D can affect the regulation of hundreds of genes. It changes the epigenetics of our gene expression. As science continues to consider the wonders of vitamin D, we will “discover” what many civilizations have known for thousands of years about this important nutrient.
We must realize as our environment changes, so does our microbiome. Thus, our need for certain foods will adjust as well. We can tolerate higher fat or lower fat foods more, depending on the season. All we can do is attempt to emulate these healthy cultures, but I also think Viome testing will validate and reinforce my theory on the importance of diet variation.
The potential for Viome to revolutionize how we view medicine and treat health conditions can’t be denied. The ability to set people free of pain and track their microbiome could be one of the greatest breakthroughs in medicine. It’s amazing to think how one pin-prick can unlock the key to many diseases and viruses that mysteriously plague a body.
Transforming a person’s lifestyle can be extremely difficult. Viome has the potential to help the sickest of the sick. I always teach about going upstream (R1), and Viome allows us to get directly to the source of problems we may have never considered. As an aside, mental health issues such as stress and depression can be analyzed and treated with Viome as well.
Naveen is a very busy man and has been involved in many amazing projects. I learned the 5R’s of True Cellular Detox and Healing® and my Multi-Therapeutic Approach because of my own health issues, but I wondered what prompted Naveen to create Viome. He explains:
“The only reason I started Viome was because I felt it could help billions of people around the world. I always thought my legacy would be landing on the moon, but my legacy will be helping billions of people’s guts.
“Imagine if we can live in a world where sickness is optional? You only get sick because you choose to be sick, not because you have to be sick. You have the power now! Instead of taking the drugs and the pharmaceuticals, imagine if you just eat the right foods, that’s the best drug you can ever have!
“If you never have to be sick, what if we can not only cure what’s going on, but if you’re healthy now, allow you to remain healthy and live up to your full potential? Imagine if you can, we can find the biomarkers and can cure the sickness before you see the symptoms?
“That’s the kind of world I get excited. I want me and our children to live in the world where no one ever has to be sick, and I hope the Viome is the foundation that you need so every doctor can take care of their patient, and everyone reading this can empower themselves can understand it and follow the right diet.”
Genetic Testing (SNPs)
Another form of testing that has become popular is the genetic testing single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced “snips”). SNPs are errors where cells make mistakes during the copying process. When cells divide into two, those copying errors could lead to variations in a person’s DNA. Personally, I wasn’t impressed with SNPs after studying, and asked Dr. Messier what she thought about SNPs and testing with Viome:
“I’ve done a number of talks on SNP testing and have been teaching it for IFM, and I am in very much agreement with you, Dr. Pompa. It’s a potential. It’s a change that’s in the sequence of our DNA, but it doesn’t tell us what’s actually happening. It doesn’t take into account the regulation of those genes. It’s a potentiality, but it’s not an actuality.
“The difference of what we’re doing is we’re measuring what’s really happening so we can see the effects of those SNPs. Usually, clinically when I look at those SNPs they’re a last resort for me. I never look at them first.
“You may want to go to them if a person isn’t responding to some of the changes and you want to double check something. But really, they don’t change with your environment and they’re just a possibility and they don’t tell you what’s really happening.”
Another challenge is a person’s SNPs may not change, even though they appear as though they should. Changes should occur based on environmental factors, but I believe the body is smart enough to adapt to the various changes. As a result, their SNPs don’t change. In other words, a doctor can study a person’s SNPs and not detect anything when in reality, something is happening. The SNPs just don’t detect it.
As noted, Viome testing is not a one-time test, like a DNA test where only one is needed. This is a monthly subscription, and as a person changes their diet and the body adapts, the microbiome is studied and the diet is changed again accordingly. This is done to maximize a person’s microbiome and help them attain the good health they desire.
Previously, this type of testing was not available to the general public. (Single tests were very expensive: Naveen once paid $25,000 for a single test!). In other forms of treatment, people will pay a hefty fee for one test, but can’t afford to go back for a follow-up. This is unfortunate because that second (or third) visit is critical to see if there was any progress and if adjustments to treatment should be made.
With Viome, it’s important to be retested every three months. Naveen understands that few people can afford to pay these exorbitant prices, so he’s offering Viome for the economical price of only $99/month.
I currently teach my clients diet variation, ketosis and intermittent fasting. Thanks to Viome, I will be able to pinpoint exactly what they need and when they need it.
Viome is easy to follow as well. Registrants receive a health companion app that can used on their mobile device. Features of the app include:
- Clients will see their results and diet recommendations
- Track their diets, sleep patterns, stress levels and other markers
- Interact with others in the Viome community
- Compare results and offer encouragement and support to other users
Viome is scheduled to be available late February 2017.
Demand has been high, but a special priority access code is available to my readers at: www.viome.com/tcd (Get priority access with code: TCD).
Naveen and Dr. Messier have introduced to us a revolutionary breakthrough in natural health and I’m very grateful for their vision and revolutionary testing that has the potential to transform the health of our world.