Huel, Viome, Methane

I also posted this question on Reddit…

I eat Huel (mostly H&S or Instant Meal cups) for lunch 4 out of 5 days/week, and have been doing that consistently for a few months.

I did a Viome microbiome test a few weeks ago, and just got my results today. One of the more significant findings is that I have an elevated production of methane. The food adjustments they’re recommending in order to address the methane issue are very extensive (eliminate red meat, lamb, dairy, asparagus, black beans, pinto beans, and others).

FWIW, here’s what Viome says about the issue in general: A Not Optimal score indicates a high level of methanogens (methane-producing bacteria) in the gut along with certain nutrients in foods that methanogens can use to produce methane gas. Altering your diet to reduce nutrients that contribute to methane gas production and rebalancing the gut microbiome through the use of probiotics and herbs may help improve this score.

So while searching here for others with Viome results, I got distracted by some of the classic threads on farts. And it hit me…is it possible that Huel is responsible for what I’m seeing there? I have noticed some of the “typical” effects, but it’s never been enough to concern me. These test results have me wondering…

Anyone else have similar experience and/or insights?

I’m not an expert, but I would be curious why Viome says a high level of methanogens is a problem before going through such an extreme elimination diet. Additionally, how do they determine what constitutes a high level for your specific population cohort (e.g., age, genetics, cultural diet)? Might be good to run it by your PCP too.

From this Bloomberg article:

But more than a dozen microbiome scientists say Viome is exploiting the emerging science to sell pseudoscience. They, along with dietitians, researchers and physicians, tell Bloomberg Businessweek that they don’t consider Viome’s work to be evidence-based but the epitome of the booming wellness industry, dangling enticing placebos in place of scientifically supported health interventions. Because Viome’s tests are categorized as general health and wellness, they’re exempt from FDA medical device regulation. The company publicly touts its “actionable insights” but also warns in the fine print that “the information Viome provides is for educational and informational use only.”