Vibrant Wellness-GUT-PAC Lab Testing for the Microbiome

Hi, I'm Dr. Marie Starling.

At The Healing Center, we help people like you reach their full potential.

I specialize in adjunctive care for internal disorders, autoimmune conditions, IBS, thyroid symptoms, diabetes, and other complex health issues.


Why does the microbiome matter? The microbiome in our gut contains 2 to 3 pounds of bacteria, but what impact does this have on our health?


  • Bacteria are critical for health and play an important role in:

-Human physiology

-Immune system development

-Digestion and detoxification reaction

-Enzyme production and utilization

-Vitamin synthesis

-Protection from pathogens.[1]

  • The gut microbiota resides in the intestines and is made up of tens of trillions of microorganisms, including at least 1000 different species of known bacteria with more than 3 million genes.[2]
  • One third of our gut microbiota is common to most people, while two thirds are specific to each one of us.[3]
  • The microbiome is designed to have a mutual beneficial relationship with us, the human host.
  • -E. coli, Staphylococcal bacteria, and Candida are a normal part of the microbiome, only problematic if conditions allow for their overgrowth.
  • The gut microbiome has been called “our forgotten organ”. [4] Colonization begins at birth and by 3 years of age can have a more adult-like pattern. [5]
  • Researchers are just beginning to discover how connected our gut microbiome is to our overall health and well-being.

When the microbiome is compromised, gut dysbiosis results.

Dysbiosis is when bad bacteria and microbes flourish in the gut creating an imbalance in the microbiome gut flora.



Dysbiosis creates a number of issues, depending on the individual, from intestinal problems to autoimmune disease. It contributes to joint pain, brain fog, and nutrient deficiencies.

Causes of dysbiosis include:

– Poor diet or nutrient deficiencies

– Travel

– Physical activity

– Stress

– Hormonal cycles

– Illness, infection or immune deregulation.

How can you see what imbalances exist in your microbiome?

Fortunately, lab tests now exist that assess your gut microenvironment.

At the Healing Center we offer the Vibrant Wellness’ GUT-PAC, a microchip test based on extensive research from NIH Human Microbiome Project (HMP),[6]which takes a look at the population of bacteria residing in your gut to see what imbalances may exist.

(The HMP was established “with the mission of generating research resources through enabling comprehensive characterization of the human microbiota and analysis of their role in human health and disease”. [7] )

The test looks at specific DNA fragments that identifies unique bacteria in your sample and can distinguish bacteria from phylum up to sub-species level.[8]

It also gives suggestions on types of probiotics to help regulate that imbalance.

It’s all about balance: balancing the microbiome lays a foundation for good health and is a key part of our well-being. Check out the status of your microbiome by making an appointment at the Healing Center or call us for more information.

Check out this video, a guided tour through the microbiome:


By: Mary Beth Gudewicz CNTP, MNT; Jessica Yoches CNTP, MNT; and Dr. Marie Starling, DC, DCCN

[1]D’Argenio, Valeria, and Francesco Salvatore. “The Role of the Gut Microbiome in the Healthy Adult Status.” The Role of Gut Microbiome in the Healthy Adult Status. Science Direct: Clinica Chimera Acta, 07 Dec. 2015. Web. 18 May 2016

[2]Vibrant.” Vibrant Wellness. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016

[3] Vibrant.” Vibrant Wellness. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016

[4] D’Argenio, Valeria, and Francesco Salvatore. “The Role of the Gut Microbiome in the Healthy Adult Status.” The Role of Gut Microbiome in the Healthy Adult Status. Science Direct: Clinica Chimera Acta, 07 Dec. 2015. Web. 18 May 2016

[5]D’Argenio, Valeria, and Francesco Salvatore. “The Role of the Gut Microbiome in the Healthy Adult Status.” The Role of Gut Microbiome in the Healthy Adult Status. Science Direct: Clinica Chimera Acta, 07 Dec. 2015. Web. 18 May 2016

[6] “Vibrant.” Vibrant Wellness. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016

[7] “Human Microbiome Project.”-Overview. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 16 May 2016

[8] Vibrant.” Vibrant Wellness. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016

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