This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.
October 25, 2020
Table of Contents
Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.
7 Facts from our Biohm review
- Biohm location: Cleveland, OH
- Products: Gut Test that uses DNA sequencing to identify gut microbiome, multiple supplements that support gut health
- Ordering: Both the Gut Test and supplements can be ordered on biohmhealth.com. Supplements can also be ordered on Amazon.com
- How it works: Collect fecal sample, test gut microbes, get personalized recommendations
- Reports: Reports from the Gut Test provide an overall gut score, personalized information on microbe populations in the gut, and recommendations for improving gut health.
- Cost: The Gut Test costs $129. Supplements vary from $24.99 to $44.99.
- Complimentary products: Nebula Genomics (the most affordable 30x Whole Genome Sequencing)
This is a review of Biohm (Biohm health), a health and wellness company that supports customer digestive health through a line of products that addresses both bacteria and fungi that live in the digestive tract. The microbiome company was founded by Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum, Ph.D. and his son, Afif Ghannoum, in 2016. Dr. Ghannoum is a faculty member in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.
He has over 40 years of experience in fungus research and has been awarded over $25 million in grant funds from the National Institutes of Health to study fungi. He used his NIH funded research and expertise in the role of fungi and digestive plaques to establish Biohm, a company that supports overall wellness through optimizing gut and microbiome health.
The first Biohm probiotic supplement was designed to counter digestive plaque that builds up in the gut. Other supplements have been added to their product line, including additional probiotics and prebiotics. Biohm also developed a DNA test for digestive system health in which customers can sequence the DNA to identify the bacteria and fungi populating their gut. By understanding their balance of the entire microbiome, including fungi, Biohm believes customers can make more targeted decisions when choosing supplements.
Review of Biohm Science
The products sold by Biohm aim to improve gut health through balancing the microbiome and the mycobiome in the gut. The human microbiome is composed of all the microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and others, that live on or in the human body. Beneficial bacterial strains have received particular attention recently as a source of protection against harmful bacteria and necessary for overall gut health. The mycobiome, coined by Biohm founder, Dr. Ghannoum, refers specifically to the collection of fungi in the body.
When people experience an imbalance of bacteria and fungi in the gut, probiotics may be able to restore beneficial bacteria and improve digestive health. However, there is still more research that needs to be done on the exact effectiveness of probiotics. Some experts believe that the probiotic effect is less than it is often advertised. Additionally, since probiotics are classified as supplements, they are exempt from many regulations and side effects studies instituted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Biohm describes itself as “a tremendous breakthrough in probiotics”. Whereas most probiotics contain good bacteria alone, Biohm promotes bacteria and fungi working together. They achieve this goal by introducing good bacteria, good fungi, and other microbial balance ingredients.
The benefits of Biohm products begin by being the only ones proven to break down digestive plaques. Similar to how plaque builds up on teeth, bacteria, and fungi in the gut interact to form digestive plaques in the stomach. Such plaques protect harmful bacteria and fungi and cause issues such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and bloating. The key to avoiding these plaques is to maintain a good balance of bacteria and fungi in the gut.
The good bacteria and fungi in Biohm products neutralize bad bacteria and fungi, leading to the breakdown of the digestive plaque. An additional digestive enzyme in the products helps the body obtain energy from food efficiently. The supplemental good bacteria and fungi help maintain the healthy balance of these organisms in the gut.
Diet, alcohol use, and stress can all promote a microbial imbalance in the gut and increase the chances of digestive plaque formation. Genetics can also play a large role.
Each person has a unique microbiome originally determined by their DNA and later influenced by environmental factors. Genes can influence the types and amounts of microbial organisms naturally present in the gut.
A study published by a group of researchers at Cornell found that people with certain genes had a higher load of good microorganisms. These people tended to be naturally leaner. They also found that certain types of bacteria appear to be heritable.
Review of Biohm Products
Review of the Biohm Gut Test
Biohm offers an at-home gut DNA testing kit that allows customers to sequence the DNA in their gut bacteria and fungi. Customers also receive recommendations, based on the kinds of microbes found, for improving their digestive health.
The gut test and written recommendations cost $129. Customers can choose to supplement the written recommendations with a 30-minute consultation with a nutritionist. The test and the consult cost $149. Biohm is not covered by insurance although it may be eligible to be covered under HSA.
Taking a Biohm Test
After purchasing a gut test, customers collect a fecal sample using the provided instructions and collection kit. A large enough sample for analysis will completely cover the white part of the swab. The customer then registers their collection tube and sends it to Biohm labs in the provided prepaid envelope.
If a customer wants to see their natural microbiome, it is recommended that they stop taking vitamins and supplements. Alternatively, they can see what their microbiome looks like with these additions if they choose. If taking antibiotics, customers should wait 2 weeks after the final dose to collect their sample. This gives the antibiotic time to leave their system.
Once the lab receives the sample, it passes through quality control to ensure that there is enough sample to process. If there is not enough, the customer will be notified. Once the lab confirms the sample is enough, results typically take 4-6 weeks. Customers will receive an email when their results are ready. They can access their report through their online gut test portal account.
At the lab, DNA is extracted from the fecal sample, amplified via a PCR reaction, and collected. The bacterial and fungal DNA is sequenced so that the microorganisms can be identified. Each microorganism profile is analyzed and compared to levels in the general population. The final report is reviewed by a registered nutritionist who also provides recommendations on ways to balance overall digestive health.
A Biohm Report
The report is divided into four parts:
- Overall gut score
- Your gut’s bacterial and fungal communities
- Actionable recommendations
A sample report is available. Biohm founder, Dr. Ghannoum breaks down how to read and interpret your report in this YouTube video.
The overall gut score is provided on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being good.
The comparison section compares the customer’s levels of the 6 major bacterial communities and 4 major fungal communities to normal levels. A breakdown of strains is also included.
The third section compares a customer’s individual microorganism levels to normal levels. Microorganisms are classified either by phyla or individual species. For example, in this report, the customer’s actinobacteria phylum are high compared to the normal, balanced gut microbiome. The two species-level microorganisms identified, Bifidobacterium species and Collinsella aerofaciens, are within normal levels.
The percentage levels indicate what percentage of the gut total microbiome is this phylum or species. Finally, the report also classifies each microorganism group as either beneficial, pathogenic, or neutral indicated by a (+), (x), or (-) before the scale respectively.
The final section provides personalized dietary, lifestyle, and supplemental recommendations that target overall digestive health.
As one would expect from a commercial company, final recommendations include Biohm supplement products.
Review of Biohm Supplements
Biohm sells multiple supplements aimed at improving overall digestive health. Supplements contain 30 billion live cultures to optimize your health. Biohm is the first performance probiotic developed to break down digestive plaque.
- Purpose: Combines good bacteria and good fungi with a powerful enzyme to break down digestive plaque and address total gut balance.
- Cost: $44.99
- Ingredient List: B. breve, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, good fungi S. boulardii, the enzyme amylase, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule, Enteric Coating
- Purpose: Optimizes your gut’s probiotic environment by creating an ideal feeding ground for probiotic organisms
- Cost: $29.99
- Ingredient List: Inulin, Apple Pectin, Peptidase, Lipase, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule
- Purpose: Gives your colon an all-natural cleanse, allowing your system to start your optimal digestive journey.
- Cost: $24.99
- Ingredient List: Cascara Sagrada Bark, Psyllium Husk, Senna Leaf (20% Extract), Flaxseed, Aloe Vera Leaf, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Licorice Root, Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule
- Purpose: Combines the power of BIOHM Probiotics with immunity boosting Vitamin C, supporting optimal immunity performance.
- Cost: $36.99
- Ingredient List: B. breve, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, good fungi S. boulardii, the enzyme amylase, Vitamin C, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule, Enteric Coating
Organic Super Greens
- Purpose: Fuse fruits, vegetables, and herbal extracts with BIOHM’s powerful probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes
- Cost: $44.99
- Ingredient List: Greens, Inulin, Adaptogens, Cruciferous Vegetables, Digestive enzyme blend (the enzyme amylase, Bromelain, Cellulase, Lipase, Papain, Protease)
Biohm also offers regimes in which customers can bundle their supplements and save money.
- Purpose: To nourish and optimize your microbiome
- Cost: $64.99
- Supplements: Probiotic and Prebiotic
- Purpose: To cleanse, restore, and optimize your microbiome
- Cost: $74.99
- Supplements: Probiotic, Prebiotic, and Colon Cleanser
If using the Gut Test, Biohm completes a DNA analysis only on the microorganisms found in the fecal sample. According to their Privacy FAQ page, Biohm does not share individual-level genetic data or survey responses with third parties. Relevant individual-level data is shared with genotyping laboratories and credit card processors.
Personal information, such as name, email address, and survey responses, is communicated through Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology. The identity of bacteria and fungi identified in the customer’s gut is also classified as personal information.
Dr. Ghannoum’s discovery of the interaction between gut bacteria and fungi has been highlighted by news outlets including NPR, USA Today, Forbes. He has also been featured in magazines such as Oprah Magazine and Women’s Health.
The Gut DNA Test earned a 3.8/5 star review from customers on Trustpilot. Most customers indicated that the test was worth the money and time and that they received valuable information. The low reviews tended to report problems with their sample, including samples that could not be analyzed.
Biohm sells most of its supplement products on Amazon.com, including their probiotic, prebiotic, and probiotic with super Biohm greens. With about 300 reviews, each product has received a 4.6/5 rating or higher.
- Biohm probiotic reviews – 4.7/5
- Biohm prebiotic reviews – 4.6/6
- Biohm super greens probiotic reviews – 4.8/5
Review of Biohm Pros and Cons
- Supplements are vegetarian, egg-free, non-GMO, no synthesis, and soy-free
- Access to registered nutritionists
- A DNA test available
- Developed by scientists
- Long processing time (~ 7 weeks)
- Sometimes sample cannot be analyzed
- DNA testing is limited to microorganism identity in the gut
- Microbiome research and the benefits of probiotics are still in the early stages
We finish our Biohm review with a look at Nebula Genomics.
Because the types and amount of microorganisms in our gut is determined by genetics, taking a DNA test may inform customers whether they should take supplements. Biohm offers a DNA test that identifies bacteria and fungi in the gut and compares them with normal levels. While gut health is useful, it is only a small part of the potential information your DNA can unlock. A single gut test with Biohm is currently under promotion for $129 (the original price is $179).
For just about double that price or less, you can sequence your entire genome with Nebula Genomics 30x Whole Genome Sequencing service. We determine 100% of your DNA, not just a snapshot. 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.
Your microbiome changes constantly. The results from a DNA test at one point may not be accurate at a later time. If you are taking supplements, you can only identify the microorganisms that are present as you are taking them. Alternatively, you can only identify your native microorganisms if you choose to stop taking supplements.
By sequencing your permanent genome, you have lifetime access to your genes that will stay the same throughout your life.
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.
Through purchasing the whole genome sequencing service, you have access to personalized reports that reflect your genome. You can also upload existing DNA data from sites like 23andMe or Ancestry to unlock these reports.
Interested in gut health? You can compare these gut health testing companies with our other product reviews:
- Atlas Biomed (microbiome and nutrition recommendations)
- Biomesight (gut testing and recommendations)
- DayTwo (gut health, personalized recommendations for blood glucose optimization)
- Ixcela (blood test for gut health and personalized recommendations)
- Kean Health (gut health, recommendations, plus a gene test with 100+ traits)
- OlaWell (recommendations to avoid food intolerances)
- Onegevity (gut health and personalized recommendations)
- Psomagen (gut health and gene test)
- Rootine (personalized supplement and vitamins based on DNA test)
- Sun Genomics (gut microbiome testing and personalized probiotics for adults, children, and infants)
- Thryve (personalized probiotics)
- Verisana (hormone, gut, and STD tests plus many more)
- Viome (gut health and microbiome testing)
Did you like our Biohm review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.
You may also be interested in virtual health care such as that offered by Teladoc and Lemonaid Health!