I have tried both Viome and Zoe. In this comparison post, I’m going to break down the differences, pros and cons, and other important information you need to know in order to align with the best testing kit for your needs.
Whether you’re struggling with gut, metabolic, hormonal, or nutrition-related issues, getting to the bottom of them is the only way to move forward and start feeling your best. Many of us, we’re tired of trying every product or supplement under the sun in an attempt to treat or cure our symptoms.
This is where a reliable testing kit or protocol can come in handy. There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution to your health, so understanding your unique body and its responses to various factors will be key for optimizing your health and feeling your best.
Let’s dive in and compare Zoe to Viome!
What Are the Benefits of At-Home Gut Tests?
Before we get into the specifics of each test and I share my personal experience, I want to first address why you might be interested in doing one of these tests in the first place.
The majority of people who are interested in testing their gut health are interested because they’re experiencing unwanted symptoms like gastrointestinal distress, hormone imbalances, adverse food reactions, weight gain, etc. All of these symptoms can be incredibly frustrating and difficult to self-diagnose or to even get a clear answer from your general practitioner who might run a basic set of tests and determine that you’re totally fine.
Curiosity is another driving force behind the desire to test your gut, hormone, and metabolic health. For health-conscious people, understanding our bodies is important. We want to stay on top of our health and the only way to do that is to understand it on a level that goes beyond our commitment to living a healthy, active lifestyle.
So what are the benefits of at-home testing protocols?
- You can gain additional insights into your health that go beyond what your doctor might be able to offer.
- You get to do the testing from the privacy of your own home.
- You’ll receive personalized recommendations for lifestyle changes, food selections, and supplements that will optimize your health and well-being.
- You’ll have an overall better understanding of your current health on a deeper level and how you can implement changes to improve it.
The Hot Takes of Viome vs. Zoe
Results come back in
Simplicity of test
They say 2-3 weeks, mine was about 4
Get $100 off at Viome
$294, can be paid in 6 monthly payments
They say 6+ weeks, mine was about 2 months
Use code FHM10 for 10% off at Zoe
Let’s start with Viome. I tested my health with Viome most recently using their Full Body Intelligence Test which analyzes your oral microbiome, gut microbiome, and cells using RNA (gene expression) sequencing. This test required both a stool sample and a blood test, both of which were pretty easy to do myself at home, but I’m not going to lie, collecting and sending in a stool sample is quite unpleasant. That said, Viome made the process as simple and straightforward as possible.
The Full Body Intelligence test provides you with 20+ comprehensive health scores on everything from digestion and cellular health to brain function and immunity. It took about 4 weeks to get my results, although I believe they claim 2-3 weeks.
You can read my in-depth review, or watch this YouTube shorts video I made unboxing Viome:
$100 off with link below:
Data-Supported Food Recommendations (what to Eat vs what to Avoid)
When I got my results back, the most interesting data for me was in relation to the food and supplement recommendations. You will get a complete list of foods that are broken down into 4 categories: avoid, minimize, enjoy, and superfood status. Your unique data categorize these foods, so it’s not a generic, one-size-fits-all recommendation.
I discovered that there were a handful of foods that I was eating pretty consistently that fell into the “avoid” category for me. This was both a bummer (because I enjoyed them!) and a relief because I now had something to focus on to relieve any symptoms I was having i.e. gastrointestinal distress, bloating, and inflammation.
Personalized Supplement Recommendations
Viome also provides you with personalized supplement recommendations. They recommend the following based on your results and any supporting clinical insights:
- Digestive enzymes
- Amino acids
- Food Extracts
I’ll be honest, I am not a huge fan of taking multiple supplements. I do take a daily women’s multivitamin, but I don’t like to add too many additional supplements. So while Viome recommend a number of supplements for me to improve my health, I did not partake.
Probiotic + Prebiotic Recommendations
The only other “supplement” that I’m willing to take on a daily basis is a probiotic as I’ve seen firsthand how it can help improve not only your gut health but your overall health. The cool thing about Viome is that they don’t just recommend any pre + probiotic to you, they actually custom-create a Precision Probiotic that’s engineered specifically for you. This is a level of customization that you really cannot get with a generic over-the-counter probiotic.
I did end up going with the customized probiotics recommended to me and have been really happy with them. Viome’s personalized pre+ probiotics come in individual stick packs that you mix with water or any other beverage and drink once per day. I really appreciate that there’s a level of customization with Viome’s probiotics that allows them to engineer them to be most beneficial for my unique gut microbiome.
Viome Pros & Cons
Here’s what I like and didn’t like about Viome's Full Body Intelligence test and the whole process:
What I liked:
- The testing process was pretty easy. Plenty of literature was available to help me understand how to collect and return my samples.
- Once I received my results, I was able to view them inside an app. My results were easy to navigate and understand.
- The food list was really helpful. I learned that I was eating some foods that really didn’t agree with my body and it was best to eliminate or reduce my consumption of them.
- I ended up ordering the precision probiotics + probiotics to see if there was a difference between custom probiotics and the ones I can buy off the shelf - there definitely was, especially after taking them consistently, I noticed some improvements in my gut health.
What I didn’t like:
- My results took a little longer than expected (4 weeks vs the promised 2-3)
- I didn’t love collecting a stool sample - just being honest!
- I felt like they recommended a lot of supplements that may or may not have been necessary (as a nutritionist and macro coach, I am always skeptical of a lot of supplements and prefer a whole food approach to nutrition)
- The cost isn’t cheap, but in the end, I do think it was worth it.
$100 off with link below:
Now, let’s chat about my experience with ZOE. At first, I really didn’t consider comparing Viome to ZOE because they are two very different test and protocols, however, the end goal is very similar for both products: to get to understand how food affects your unique and specific body.
ZOE is focused on helping you to understand your gut and metabolic health so that you can improve your energy levels, experience less hunger and fewer cravings, less bloating, better sleep, and more. Me personally, I know that I have a lot of hormonal issues that can wreak havoc on my overall health and wellbeing which is why I was interested in checking out ZOE in the first place.
ZOE is an extremely comprehensive at-home testing system. The main goal is to discover how your body responds to foods, which is accomplished through the following testing methods: gut health test (stool sample), blood sugar monitoring (with a CGM), and a blood fat test (using a finger prick blood sample).
Similar to the Viome test, the stool sample was not pleasant, however, ZOE makes it pretty easy and manageable to get it done and send it off. The CGM (continuous glucose monitor) is a bit of a commitment, but it does provide a ton of valuable, real-time data. I have worn a couple of CGMs (Signos, Nurisense), and used them to monitor my body’s response to various inputs like the foods I’m eating and the exercises I’m doing, and have always found the data and insights to be fascinating.
Don't forget to check out my in-depth review.
10% off with code FHM10
Metabolic Challenge Muffins
ZOE’s plan includes consuming their “Metabolic Challenge Muffins” which are muffins that are scientifically designed to enable you to test your biological responses. I’m not going to lie, the muffin days were tough. You are given a certain amount of muffins to eat at certain times in order to capture the required data needed to determine your recommendations. I got through it by reminding myself that this was temporary and very short-term and that in the end, I would have a ton of insightful and actionable data to implement.
For reference, the muffins taste fine. Not fantastic, but not terrible either. This is one of those testing requirements that you’ll likely not love but can definitely get through.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)
CGMs used to be reserved for those who have diabetes as a way to manage, track, and control their blood sugar, however, over the past couple of years, CGMs have become more mainstream. Everyone from athletes to those trying to lose weight is turning to the technology available through wearing a CGM to improve their body and help them live and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
ZOE’s CGM can be attached to your arm or belly and is to be worn 24/7. Don’t worry, placing your CGM monitor is not painful at all and once you have it, you’ll hardly notice it’s there. While you’re wearing your CGM, the device will automatically communicate with ZOE’s app, continuously pulling data from your blood glucose levels and interpreting the results so that you can optimize your nutrition, exercise, and habits.
It’s important to note that the CGM is not a requirement for the ZOE testing kit, it’s completely optional and voluntary.
ZOE offers coaching along with their testing, which is a fantastic perk, in my opinion. The ZOE coaches are there to help guide you through the testing process and to help to interpret your results. All ZOE coaches have at least a bachelor's degree in nutrition science, which should give you peace of mind that you’re working with a progressional, however, they really aren’t there to diagnose or treat any medical issues.
Coaches are available through the in-app chat feature inside the ZOE app which is nice because there are definitely times when you might have questions pop up about a CGM reading or test results, so it’s nice to have an easy resource and set of eyes on your data.
ZOE Pros and Cons
There are a lot of aspects to ZOE that I love and a handful of things that I would recommend considering before purchasing.
What I love about ZOE:
- This is definitely the most comprehensive at-home health testing I have ever done or have seen out there.
- ZOE is very science-based and highly accredited, which gave me peace of mind that I wasn’t wasting my money on garbage.
- Because I was already familiar with CGMs, how they work, and what kind of data and insights they provide, I was excited that ZOE included this type of testing in its program.
- I liked having access to ZOE coaches to ask questions and get more insights into my results and action steps.
- The app is easy to use and results are generally easy to understand.
- You get a complete list of foods that you should eat and those that should be avoided based on your individual food scores.
- You will receive a report that outlines 15 good and bad microbes from your gut health sample.
What I didn’t love:
- The metabolic muffin testing protocol sucked, no way to sugarcoat that. I like to eat, so limiting and restricting my food (even for a short window) was not fun.
- Results took a while - I want to say it was close to 2 months before I got my results, which felt long. ZOE does state that results can take 6+ weeks, so I would just note that going into it.
10% off with code FHM10
So Which Gut Health Test Do I Prefer?
Ok, time to answer the big question: which is better- ZOE or Viome? The answer will depend on the individual, however, I preferred Viome for what I was looking for.
Viome was less involved and pretty straightforward. There were no protocols that interfered with my normal day-to-day life, which is important to me. I was honestly just looking for a solid analysis of my gut health and a list of foods that I should and shouldn’t eat to feel my best, which is what I got from Viome. And then I got the precision probiotics and have really enjoyed those.
ZOE is much more involved and hands-on, which might be a better option for those who really want to take the most in-depth and comprehensive approach to their wellness. I really can’t say anything negative about ZOE other than the fact that I wasn’t super thrilled with all of the protocols that I had to follow, just being honest.
Overall, both at-home testing kits are great and highly recommended if you want to know more about your body and how it responds to foods. Furthermore, if you want to know more about how you can feel your absolute best, either one of these testing kits will give you a fantastic place to start.
With link below
With code FHM10