7 Facts from our Ombre Review
- Location: San Fransisco CA, USA
- Products: Ombre Gut Health Test (Gut Health Test, Ombre Digital report in-app, Personalized Food Plan), Gut Health Program, Vaginal Health Test, 9 Specialized Probiotic Supplements
- How it works: customers take a gut microbiome test and receive probiotic recommendations
- Ordering: Gut health tests and supplements can be ordered at ombrelab.com
- Reports: Reports reveal gut microbiome composition and its impact on health
- Cost: Gut Health Test ($99), Gut Health Program ($119.99), Supplements ($39 / month for each option)
- Complementary products: Nebula Genomics (whole genome sequencing with weekly updated reports and advanced ancestry analysis)
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.
November 10, 2022
Table of Contents
- 7 Facts from our Ombre Review
- Pros and Cons
- Review of Ombre Products
- Review of Ombre Science
- Review of Ombre (formally Thryve) Products
- Review of Ombre (Formally Thryve) Sample Collection
- Review of an Ombre (formally Thryve) Report
- Ombre (formally Thryve) in the News
- Other Ombre (formally Thryve) Reviews
- Nebula Genomics
Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.
Pros and Cons
- Simple process
- Provides diet and dietary supplements recommendations
- One of the least expensive options
- Offers a convenient subscription plan for supplements
- Personalized probiotic blends available based on your test results
- A lot of thought has been put into preserving samples during shipping
- No direct consultations
- International customers must pay for return shipping
- Much of the gut microbiome report seems tailored to selling its own supplements
- Supplementing your diet with probiotics is still a new, and not FDA regulated, field
- Some customers find supplements cause stomach discomfort
Ombre is an American health service and wellness company providing gut health testing and personalized probiotic recommendations. The founders established the company, formally known as Quantbiome, in 2016.
Ombre offers various products meant to complement Ombre’s gut health reports and improve overall health. The results include the types of bacteria found in your gut that play a role in digestive health. Then, from the type of gut bacteria found, Ombre gives comprehensive, actionable insights based on current microbiome research. These insights generally include dietary recommendations and custom probiotic suggestions (available for purchase from Ombre).
However, it is important to know that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate most probiotic supplements.
Some evidence exists that understanding your microbiome can allow you to develop a personalized health program. Hence, customers can use this information makes personal goals like weight loss, better digestive health, increased energy, and better mental clarity possible.
Review of Ombre Products
The Ombre Gut Health Program bundles the Ombre microbiome test – the Gut Test ($99) and a mix of special probiotic supplements. While the test determines which supplements Ombre recommends, customers can purchase products individually from the website.
Note: Some reviews claim the Thryve Gut Health Test automatically registers customers for their personalized probiotic subscription. Therefore, if you do not want this, be sure to pause or cancel the subscription.
Gut Health Test
The Ombre (Thryve) Gut Health Test is similar to the other healthy gut microbiome tests we have reviewed before (BIOHM, Viome). First, customers mail a small stool sample to Ombre, which characterizes the bacterial strains present in it. Then, the company analyzes this data and generates a Gut Health Report, Food Plan, and probiotic product recommendations.
Ombre offers five probiotic and prebiotic supplements to purchase individually ($39 for one month’s worth) or as part of a subscription ($35 per month for each supplement). Ombre marketing addresses five different needs:
|Product||Purpose||Species of bacteria|
|Ketone Booster||Enhance your weight loss routine by burning fat with natural energy.||Actobacillus reuteri Tr1 (ADR1), Lactobacillus casei, and Lactobacillus fermentum, and vitamins|
|Healthy Gut||Revamp your digestive health and achieve optimal wellness.||Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus paracasei Th2, Bifidobacterium lactis, vitamins, and prebiotics|
|Ultimate Immunity||Supercharge your immune system and improve overactive immune symptoms||Lactobacillus paracasei Th1, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus reuteri Tr1 (ADR1), vitamins, and prebiotics.|
|Endless Energy||Increase energy levels without the use of stimulants||Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and vitamins C and D|
|Mood Enhancer||Boost your immunity and mood through gut bacteria||Actobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium breve, and others|
Each of these supplements contains a different probiotic blend. According to Ombre, each has been tested clinically.
Review of Ombre Science
Many researchers are working to understand the connection between beneficial bacteria levels present in the gut and human health in real time. However, microbiome research is extremely complicated, and many questions remain unanswered.
Solid evidence shows that probiotic supplements can help balance a person’s microbiome by introducing beneficial bacteria into the gut. This may then lead to a variety of physical and mental health benefits. However, we still don’t know much about the microbiome and the use of probiotic supplements. Below is a quick review of what is known and what needs more research, published in the British Medical Journal in 2018.
Review of Ombre (formally Thryve) Products
Review of Ombre Gut Health Test
Ombre identifies bacteria within a sample by sequencing and analyzing their RNA. This is similar to, but distinctly different from, DNA sequencing, covered in our Viome review. In short, it is an inexpensive and efficient way of identifying a wide range of bacterial strains, but requires more careful sample handling than other techniques. Still, it is a common technique that most microbiome testing services use.
Review of Ombre Probiotics + Supplements
Many companies offer probiotic supplements, often in the form of oral pills. That is because this is a convenient way for most people to take many supplements. But this is not necessarily true for probiotics. (In fact, fecal transplants are considered one of the best ways to populate a person’s gut microbiome.)
Probiotic supplements are essentially collections of helpful gut bacteria. Above all, the goal of taking a supplement is to have good bacteria move past the stomach and into the gut and intestinal digestive tract. For living bacteria, this is not so simple.
If the pill shell dissolves before it exits the stomach acid, many of the bacteria will likely die before they reach the gut. Ombre advertises that its plant-based casing is better than other probiotic supplements at passing through the stomach. We were not able to find further details about this claim.
Another problem some supplements have is getting the bacteria to stay in the gut. Ombre claims its product adheres to the gut better than other probiotics. We were again unable to verify these claims.
Ombre offers multiple pre-made supplements, including Ombre Mood Enhancer and Ombre Inside (Endless Energy).
Another potential issue with probiotic supplements is keeping the bacteria within the supplement alive. Since the FDA does not regulate these sorts of products, it is hard to know the quality and quantity of living bacteria within a supplement. However, Ombre claims that its supplements do not need refrigeration and have a long, stable shelf-life. Because the FDA has not evaluated Ombre probiotic product statements, the products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
An interesting feature is the tailored probiotics blend that customers can order after they take the Gut Health test. It is a blend of probiotic strains contained in its other five off-the-shelf supplements. If interested, customers can then preorder these personalized probiotics blends as part of a subscription.
There is often a stigma attached to health supplements. Because the FDA does not regulate them, there is generally very little oversight regarding production and content. Also, producers of supplements are not necessarily held accountable for their claims. For this reason, it is recommended that consumers be careful with which producers they choose to trust.
As an alternative to supplements, there are many natural, diet-based ways of affecting your microbiome. Ombre’s $99 Gut Test includes diet recommendations to help grow and maintain a healthy microbiome. In brief, proprietary software summarizes the features of over 4,000 microbes in scientific literature and maps them to 1,000 food ingredients and over 500 supplements.
Review of Ombre (Formally Thryve) Sample Collection
Collecting and sending a sample to analyze is not complicated and consists of three steps.
Activating your kit
Activating your kit is crucial as it links your online profile with your submitted sample. Your kit comes with a 5-digit code that you use on the Ombre website.
The contents of an Ombre Gut Health testing kit include everything needed to get your sample tested.
Collecting your sample
Depending on how you feel about certain things, collecting a sample may not be the most pleasant thing. Ombre provides the following instructions:
- After your first bowel movement, wipe normally. Use the dry swab to lightly run over the toilet paper (roughly a rice-sized sample).
- Place the cotton swab inside the primary tube and stir vigorously for 20 seconds or until the collection liquid turns color. Close the tube and shake for 5 seconds
It is comforting to note that in the event that you lose your sample before you mail it, each kit includes a spare sample tube. If you lose that too, you can contact customer services department directly.
A small fecal sample is obtained with the provided swabs and placed in the vial. Ombre’s stabilizing fluid helps preserve bacterial cells until the lab is able to test your sample.
Sending your sample
For customers in the United States, Ombre provides a postage-paid box to return your sample.
For international customers, return shipping is not included. Ombre does provide instructions and recommendations for how to return your sample.
Review of an Ombre (formally Thryve) Report
Ombre reports are returned via its app.
Ombre’s website has a video that shows potential customers what kind of information can be found in a gut health report.
Ombre reports are generated based on its extensive library of microbiome information collected from thousands of research papers on the internet. Like most companies in this field, the exact way they use this information is not available. What is known is that Ombre uses proprietary software to analyze every single microbiome research article and grades the data with its research confidence algorithm.
Ombre also provides a Wellness Score or Gut Score to quantify your gut health. From its website:
“In our [gut] wellness score algorithm, we compare the amounts of probiotics, beneficial, commensal, and pathogenic bacteria from our customer’s gut microbiome test to the American Gut Project results. From this comparison, we can calculate their gut microbiome diversity, which is the richness of bacterial genus or species (amounts of different bacteria) that characterizes the gut microbiome in individuals. We also consider the abundance of gut bacteria, including the percentage of beneficial bacteria, proteobacteria, and more.”
As there is not a significant amount of health information in the reports, it appears that their true value is in the personalized gut health supplements and recommendations to improve gut health.
Ombre (formally Thryve) in the News
- These Technology-Driven Companies are Shaking up the Beauty and Healthcare Industry
- An Interview with Richard Lin, CEO of Microbiome Wellness Company Thryve
Near the end of 2021, Quantbiome Announces Thryve Rebrand to Ombre, Raises $3 Million Seed Funding
Other Ombre (formally Thryve) Reviews
Ombre gut health reviews are generally positive, with most customers happy with the service and products.
People who reviewed Ombre poorly usually had trouble contacting customer service, got the wrong item, or had extra things they did not order.
- Thryve reviews (now closed) on TrustPilot: 4/5 with 139 reviews
- Ombre reviews on Trustpilot: 4.2 with 47 reviews
- Thryve reviews on DNAtestingchoice: 4/5 with 75 reviews
Personal genetic testing is very different from learning about your gut’s microbiome. However, both can help you and your health care providers make informed decisions about your diet and improve your health.
Health and wellness often involve multiple systems. If you have the chance to look at your whole genome, you can answer questions about your health as they come up.
You can sequence your entire genome with Nebula Genomics 30x Whole Genome Sequencing service. This process provides far more information than many other leading genetic testing companies. With Ombre, you are limited to potentially answering one health question. With Nebula Genomics, you can use your genome to find the answers to questions about your whole genetic makeup.
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 regularly updated with over 150 genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and new reports are added with each update.
If you have health concerns about your gut, you may want to check out these alternative products:
- Atlas Biomed (microbiome and nutrition recommendations)
- Biohm (gut health, including bacteria and fungi)
- Biomesight (gut testing and recommendations)
- DayTwo (gut health, personalized recommendations for blood glucose optimization)
- InsideTracker (biomarker health tests and optional DNA test)
- 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)
- Verisana (hormone, gut, and STD tests plus many more)
- Viome (gut health and microbiome testing)
Different at-home tests:
- BlueChew (diagnosis and prescriptions for erectile dysfunction)
- Everlywell (wide range of health and wellness tests)
- imaware (blood tests for a wide range of health conditions)
- LetsGetChecked (wide range of health and wellness tests)
- MyLab Box (STD testing)
You can also read reviews on Curology (personalized skincare), Plexaderm (skin anti-aging), Yoga Burn (weight loss), and Medishare, which may be able to help with emergency health bills through cost sharing ministry.
Did you find our Ombre (Thryve) review helpful? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.