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Other-LiveI’m the CEO of Thryve, a service that provides gut test kits and probiotics to improve gut health. We’ve been featured on MIT Tech Review, Techstars, and several other publications. AMA!

Apr 1st 2017 by ThryveInside • 8 Questions • 3964 Points

12 months ago I took an antibiotic and came down with a nasty stomach bug. I ended up being hospitalized and started researching the reasons for my illness. Turns out antibiotics wipes out all the good and bad bacteria in your system and sometimes the recovery isn't always optimal. Every since then I've been on a conquest to find out more about the bugs in our guts to improve overall health and wellness.

Check out Thryve here or following us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Blog for up to date research and news on the microbiome.

Disclaimer: I don't have any formal microbiology training, but have brought on super smart people with Ph.Ds in Biology and Bioinformatics from the likes of Stanford and Harvard to make Thryve a reality.

Proof

EDIT: We are ending our AMA now. We tried out best to answer everyone (even the top comments!). That said the amount of interest we had on here was really exciting. Thanks again to the Reddit community for engaging with us and allowing us to share the mission of Thryve with you all. Feel free to reach our directly or [email protected] if you'd like to followup. Cheers!

Q:

Tell her they come from other peoples' stool. They harvest the pro-biotics from stool in the same way you can get a fecal transplant to replenish bacterial populations.

A:

Get a new mother-in-law.


Q:

What are your thoughts on homemade kefir?

It has 35 different types of cultures, removes most of the lactose, is an easy protein to absorb and each culture's colonies are in the billions or whatever number.

It seems to have helped me a lot.

A:

I think it's awesome and cost-effective solution.

Keep it up!


Q:

How does it feel knowing you are an April Fool's joke?

A:

Thank God, I have a sense of humor...


Q:

Can I use probiotic capsules as a suppository to get more desired results?

A:

I would consume probiotics orally. If going from the other route, I would always consult a medical professional.

There's a clinic in Tampa, FL under Dr. Shepard that conducts "probiotic washes". Essentially, clean out with colonoscopy prep and infusion of probiotics via enema. See here


Q:

Do you know if there's been any progress in treating Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis with probiotics (including fecal transplants)?

A:

IBD is an autoimmune disease and we've seen great progress with FMT's in treating those conditions.

That said, there are also a lot of failures. Because autoimmune diseases are complex due to genetics, microbiome, etc... FMT may not be the end all be all solution for curing the disease.

I'd say probiotics and FMTs are a part of the tool kit to improve quality of life for autoimmune diseases such as IBD (Crohns and UC).


Q:

So I took the ubiome fecal diagnostic tests and all I got back was a spreadsheet with values. Does your system provide a better interpretative database of results?

A:

uBiome has done a great job bringing the microbiome to everyday consumers. Love the work they are doing. That said, I was also a uBiome customer and found their product lacking.

At Thryve, we provide you very detailed reports on all the bacteria in your body (similar to uBiome), but we also provide details on why those bacteria matter. For instance, we show you trends on different categories of bacteria and how they are changing for better or worse based on your samples. Furthermore, we tell you how your microbes are digesting and metabolizing foods (proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, etc... and we provide diet / recipe recommendations based on the latest research on which fibers help improve your microbiome.

Part of our value is also allowing customers to input their health information (disease, symptoms, diets, supplements, medications, etc...) and we bring all that data back into our platform to make it more meaningful for our users. For instance, we'd be able to tell you a certain population of people, what their microbiome looks like, and how they were able to influence it through lifestyle. That data gets pulled back into your dashboard so you can take action.


Q:

Why do I need to subscribe to a plan?

Why is your maintenance (12*$60 /2 = $360) plan more expensive per kit than your repair plan (12 * $80 / 4 = $240)?

A:

We offer subscription plans for convenience to our customers.

Our repair plan is cheaper on a per kit basis because of an upgrade for a higher per monthly plan.


Q:

Do you have a comment about Candida overgrowth?

A:

Other than we need more research on it!

We are launching yeast sequencing in Q3'17 so we'll be able to see Candida.