For a few years I have been eating probiotic foods in an attempt to improve my health.
However, due to a bad reaction I had years ago when consuming milk kefir I’ve steered clear of it ever since.
That time I drank a whole glass of milk kefir in one go for several days running. The result was a very very unhappy tummy that was disrupted for many months.
This time around I understand how powerful a probiotic milk kefir is and am only taking a couple of tablespoons per day. I’ve also opted to drink goats milk kefir because it is easier to digest.
A few years ago I discovered that although I was reacting to cows milk, I was able to drink goats and sheeps milk with no trouble.
I therefore thought it would be interesting to work with Carbiotix to determine what affect (if any) milk kefir has on my microbiome. Or more specifically, the fibre loving bacteria in my gut that are measured in the Carbiotix test. Interestingly after 3 months of testing and taking milk kefir I have found a huge increase in my fibre loving bacteria (I’ll keep you posted).
Anyway, I was fascinated to understand more about the microbiome testing programmes Carbiotix offer because I am a real believer that a healthy gut is the key to our health.
Today, I’m introducing you to Kristofer Cook who founded Carboitix. He is going to tell you more about his story and how he was lead towards creating a microbiome testing kit.
At the end of the post I will be giving one reader the chance to win a 6 month subscription to one of their gut health programmes.
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO START A BUSINESS FOCUSING ON GUT HEALTH?
I think most people have been personally impacted by a family member or someone close to them who has suffered from any number of chronic diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes, IBS, arthritis and heart disease.
My personal story happened six years ago when I was woken up by my mother in the middle of the night who informed me that my father had suddenly collapsed due to complications with his diabetes.
Unfortunately, while in hospital he contracted re-occurrent C-difficile which ultimately took his life within six short weeks of being admitted.
Tragedy then struck a second time only three weeks later when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Luckily my mother, who has always been a true fighter, managed to survive the cancer.
This period however had a lasting effect on my life and changed my perspective on where I would focus my energy going forward.
Until this point I had spent 20 years studying and working with sustainable development and clean technologies, starting 5 companies in the area.
I decided however, that addressing the chronic disease epidemic in society would be where I would focus my entrepreneurial energy. It was also during this period, in a very serendipitous turn of events, that I met a Ph.D. student by the name of Peter Falck at the department of biotechnology at Lund University in Sweden.
Peter introduced me to world of the microbiome and the gut bacteria that ultimately shape our health.
I learned that many chronic diseases such as those that impacted the lives of my parents were potentially triggered by inflammation caused by the starving of key probiotic bacteria resulting from our modern diet low in dietary fibre, especially soluble fibre.
This knowledge and a mutual interest to increase the amount of bioactive soluble fibre in the diets of all people resulted in the formation of Carbiotix in late 2014, a company focused on simple, affordable and effective gut health solutions and microbiome therapeutics.
WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S UNIQUE SELLING POINT?
Carbiotix is a company that is truly soluble fibre agnostic, meaning that we want to provide as many means as possible for our customers to increase their soluble fibre consumption.
To facilitate this, we offer both dietary advice and a soluble fibre supplement, with the latter being the low-calorie alternative.
What sets us apart from others is our low-cost gut microbiome testing kit which allows us to provide monthly feedback to our customers regarding their gut health improvement, as well as modify the dietary recommendations we provide in real-time.
We recognised very early on that consumers want simple, affordable and effective solutions to increase their consumption of soluble fibre and optimise their gut health.
To achieve this, one has to first respect several microbiome truths which are:
1) All people have a unique gut microbiome and their own optimum level of gut health
2) At-home gut microbiome testing kits are subject to sampling and outlier error requiring high frequency, long duration testing to collect quality gut health data
3) Diet and soluble fibres (prebiotics) have the potential to address the cause of gut health problems and should be utilised before treating symptoms with probiotics and antibiotics.
By offering a low-cost gut microbiome testing kit, we can personalise our dietary soluble fibre recommendations for each of our customers as well as provide more reliable gut health data in the form of a simple to understand Fibre Loving Bacteria (FLB) index.
We are thus able to slowly increase the amount of soluble fibre consumed by our customers every day, in effect training their gut bacteria to consume more and more fibre over time without causing discomfort.
Moreover, although our low-cost gut microbiome testing kit is currently one third the cost of the nearest competitor on the market, we have plans to half this cost in the next three years, meaning that our subscription services will become more and more affordable over time.
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO PROVIDE A GUT HEALTH TEST AT SUCH A LOW COST?
We designed our subscription services with consumers particularly in mind.
Rather than building a clinical, healthcare or research focused service as many others have done in the microbiome area, we asked the question: what is absolutely necessary for consumers to increase their consumption of soluble fibre and monitor their gut health improvements?
We therefore took a first principles perspective to all elements of the service from the sourcing of consumables, to the packing of orders, to the analysis of customer samples and interpretation of results.
Taking this approach resulted in a simple, affordable and effective gut microbiome testing kit which meets the needs of our core customer base.
Moreover, adopting a complex and expensive approach to gut health seemed completely illogical at this time, especially when you consider that dietary soluble fibre consumption for most people is potentially 2-3 times lower than what it should be to optimise gut health.
Today and for the foreseeable future, this is really only about increasing soluble fibre consumption across the board without causing discomfort.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE BUY YOUR MICROBIOME TESTING KITS & FIBRE SUPPLEMENTS?
You can subscribe to any of our services at www.carbiotix.com. We are available world-wide and the first month is free of charge.
By now I’m guessing you’d really like to try Carbiotix, so we are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a 6-month subscription of their choice.
In order to be in for a chance of winning this fabulous prize all you need to do is log in using your Facebook account or email address in the box below and follow the instructions. You have until midnight on 21st August to enter.
If you’re new to entering competitions using Rafflecopter then you might find this guide helpful.
The giveaway is open to anyone over the age of 18. No cash alternatives will be given. The winner will be picked at random and emailed to request a postal address. You will have one week to supply an address before another winner is picked. The email and postal address will be passed on to Carbiotix AB directly to fulfil your prize. Your email address entered for the giveaway will not be used for any marketing purposes.