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Ombre, formerly known as Thryve, is a company that offers at-home gut health tests along with pre- and probiotic supplements.
Consumer interest in gut health is at an all-time high, and people want to learn more about their microbiome and ways to support it. For this reason, at-home microbiome tests such as Ombre’s have surged in popularity.
While these companies claim that their tests and supplements will change your health for the better, experts in digestive health, such as microbiome researchers, don’t currently recommend at-home microbiome tests due to concerns over accuracy and appropriateness (
Read on to learn more about Ombre.
Ombre is a tech health company that was previously known as Thryve. The company was founded in 2016 in California.
Ombre manufactures an at-home gut microbiome test and a vaginal microbiome test.
“Microbiome” is a term that encompasses the entire habitat of the gut, including microorganisms such as bacteria, their genes, and their surrounding environment. A healthy gut microbiome is essential to support digestive health and overall health (
Ombre also manufactures several probiotic and prebiotic supplement blends. The company recommends specific products to people who have taken its test, based on the results of the at-home microbiome test.
Consumers can also purchase supplements from Ombre without taking either gut health test.
Ombre’s founders, staff, and board are not listed on the company’s website. Instead, the company lists two people as experts — nutritionist Kimberly Griffith, MS, and bioinformatics researcher Manoj Samanta, PhD — although their contributory roles are not clear.
Based on our internal vetting process and customer reviews on multiple review sites, here is an overview of the pros and cons of Ombre:
- It’s less expensive than other gut health tests.
- The stool sample acquisition and account setup are easy.
- The company’s probiotics are third-party certified by NSF or UL Solutions.
- There’s insufficient research to support at-home microbiome testing.
- Customers do not have access to medical support after receiving test results.
- The company’s website does not have a chat feature or provide a telephone number.
- There’s no option to download, print, or view your report as a PDF (according to the company, this feature is currently in the pipeline).
- Some customers report significantly delayed shipment of products, no receipt of products, or difficulty canceling subscriptions.
- It’s not possible to confirm the safety of Ombre’s customized dietary supplements.
- The company makes exaggerated health claims in its marketing.
- The company is not transparent about its diagnostic process or formulations.
Healthline currently doesn’t recommend Ombre or other at-home microbiome tests.
According to a 2019 review, microbiome experts remain doubtful about the validity of at-home microbiome tests because there’s still a lot to learn about the gut microbiota and how it affects health and disease risk (
Every person has a unique gut microbiota profile that plays specific roles in nutrient metabolism, immune function, and more.
Microbiome experts are concerned that at-home microbiome test results could cause unnecessary anxiety for consumers and lead them to purchase supplements that may be ineffective or even harmful.
Factors such as diet, medications, and supplements can affect your microbiome over short time periods, so the supplements and dietary changes Ombre recommends may not be helpful to the customer.
Lastly, even though probiotics can be helpful for treating specific conditions, they’re not appropriate for everyone.
Some microbiome experts warn that probiotics have not been found to be universally safe or effective. This means that even if a company like Ombre suggests a probiotic based on your testing results, it may not be an appropriate or evidence-based suggestion (
For these reasons, we don’t recommend Ombre or any other at-home gut microbiome test.
A mail-in gut health test is available online through the Ombre website. Once you purchase it, it should arrive within several weeks.
You’ll activate your kit online by creating a user account. Your results will appear in your account portal on the website in about 3 weeks.
The kit contains a collection receptacle for a small stool sample. If possible, mail your sample back the same day you collect it. A prepaid envelope is included in the kit for you to use.
Ombre analyzes the bacteria in your stool and makes recommendations, based on an algorithm, about your gut health and probiotics you may benefit from taking. The company does not look for viruses, fungi, or other microorganisms in your sample.
According to the manufacturer, users of the test receive a gut health report that includes information about the bacteria the company found and sequenced from the sample.
Your gut health report will also include information about foods you should and should not eat.
At time of publish, Ombre offers two at-home tests:
- The Gut Health Test: This test provides a personalized microbiome report that includes dietary and probiotic supplement recommendations to help support gut health.
- The Vaginal Health Test: Marketed toward people who are pregnant, premenopausal, postmenopausal, or trying to conceive, this test provides a personalized vaginal microbiome report, including dietary, lifestyle, and probiotic recommendations.
The company also currently offers one prebiotic supplement and eight probiotic supplements.
Keep in mind that, while the company states that it recommends probiotics based on your unique gut bacteria and symptoms, the products are premade — they’re not custom-made based on your testing results.
Here’s a little more about the intended use of each product:
- Rise Probiotic: a fiber-containing supplement designed to feed healthy bacteria and increase fiber intake without causing gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas and bloating
- Healthy Gut Probiotics: designed to support gut bacterial diversity and reduce digestive issues
- Heart Health Probiotics: claims to help lower cholesterol levels and support weight loss
- Restore Probiotics: designed to support urinary tract and vaginal health
- Harmony Probiotics: designed to support vaginal health
- Ultimate Immunity Probiotics: claims to support your immune system, specifically your upper respiratory tract
- Mood Enhancer Probiotics: claims to support mental health by optimizing your body’s natural production of serotonin
- Endless Energy Probiotics: claims to help optimize mental and physical performance
- Metabolic Booster Probiotics: claims to help support weight loss
Even though some of the strains included in Ombre’s probiotic supplements may be beneficial for some people, there’s no way to tell whether taking a probiotic supplement containing multiple strains is the right choice for your specific health needs, even after you’ve taken a microbiome test.
Also, the product names, such as Metabolic Booster, Mood Enhancer, and Endless Energy, are misleading. There’s no evidence that Ombre’s probiotic blends will have any effect on your mood, energy, or metabolism.
Your gut microbiome is a complex and diverse community of bacterial species that work together to support health (
Although Ombre may want you to think that purchasing these products will change your gut environment and health for the better, a probiotic supplement isn’t a cure-all for common health issues such as mental health conditions, obesity, and heart disease.
According to the manufacturer, Ombre’s probiotics are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) or UL Solutions (previously known as Underwriters Laboratories). They are also vegan, GMO-free, and gluten-free.
NSF is a nonprofit organization that has been creating standards for food safety and sanitation to promote public health since 1944.
NSF certification guarantees that the manufacturer uses only raw materials approved by the Food and Drug Administration and that products have passed numerous NSF tests for material safety, design, construction, and product performance.
UL Solutions is a global safety certification company that tests products and ensures that they are safe for use.
Are Ombre probiotics worth it?
Probiotics are live microorganisms naturally found in your gut and in certain foods, such as kefir and sauerkraut. Probiotic supplements have surged in popularity over the past decade as more people have become interested in supporting their digestive health.
Although research suggests that certain strains of probiotics could be helpful for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and several types of diarrhea, experts are concerned that probiotics are overprescribed and that their overuse may lead to antibiotic resistance and other health issues (
Ombre claims that it recommends probiotic supplements meant to address your “symptoms,” based on the bacteria in your gut biome.
While it’s unclear whether Ombre recommends probiotic supplements to every customer who purchases a gut health test, as more research questions the necessity and safety of widespread probiotic use, some customers may receive recommendations for products that they don’t need (
In fact, disturbing the microbiome by introducing a probiotic supplement could lead to bacterial overgrowth, as well as infection and excessive immune stimulation in people with weakened immune systems (
Remember, experts in the field of microbiome research still don’t know what a “healthy” microbiome looks like for everyone or how probiotic supplements affect the gut long-term. For these reasons, it’s unethical for a company like Ombre to claim that taking its probiotic supplements will improve your gut health (
If you’re interested in supplementing with probiotics, it’s best to work with a healthcare professional who specializes in gut health. They will be able to assess your health needs to determine whether a probiotic supplement may be necessary.
You can buy Ombre supplements on a one-time basis or with a monthly subscription. The subscription cost is slightly discounted.
Here are the prices for Ombre’s products at the time of publish:
- Gut Health Test: $99
- Vaginal Health Test: $99
- Rise Prebiotic: $49.99
- Heart Health Probiotics: $39.99
- Restore Probiotics: $39.99
- Harmony Probiotics: $39.99
- Ultimate Immunity Probiotics: $39.99
- Mood Enhancer Probiotics: $39.99
- Endless Energy Probiotics: $39.99
- Healthy Gut Probiotics: $39.99
- Metabolic Booster Probiotics: $39.99
Shipping fees and taxes are additional and tallied at checkout for every product except both gut health tests, which ship at no additional cost.
Ombre (Thryve) has a 1-star rating from customers and a business rating of B- on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. The B- reflects the BBB’s opinion about Ombre’s interactions with customers, which is primarily poor.
The company also has mostly 1-star reviews on Trustpilot, with many of the negative reviews centering on poor interactions with the company and a lack of transparency about shipping.
Additionally, some customers complain they never received their kits or were not issued refunds for undelivered products.
However, there are some 5-star reviews. Satisfied customers write that they’ve noticed improvements since they began taking the company’s probiotics. Others appreciate the specific recommendations their testing report provided.
You may come across other gut health tests during your research. However, it’s important to note that Healthline does not endorse the use of any at-home microbiome tests at this time.
Viome Gut Intelligence Test, $249
This at-home test uses a stool sample to curate a personalized microbiome report. According to the manufacturer, your results are used to calculate an overall “Integrative Functional Health score.”
The report also includes food and supplement recommendations based on your test results.
Viome offers other tests, some of which require blood and/or saliva samples in addition to a stool sample, as well as a custom pre- and probiotic supplement blend.
Viome is more expensive than Ombre but appears to provide more comprehensive results. At time of publish, the company has an A rating from the BBB.
Thorne Gut Health Test, $198
This at-home test requires a stool sample. The manufacturer states that it will use your stool sample to measure a wide range of health indicators, including:
- immune readiness
- short-chain fatty acids
A report that includes results and recommendations will arrive within 5–6 weeks after your sample has been analyzed.
Thorne probiotics are comparable in price to Ombre probiotics, in the $30–$50 range.
This company currently has an A+ rating from the BBB.
A note on gut microbiome testing
When discussing gut microbiome tests, it is important to note that gut health is very much an emerging science and that researchers do not yet have a clear definition of what a “normal” microbiome looks like (
Therefore, science is still a long way from being able to provide consumers with reliable health interventions based on the results of an at-home test (
Instead of purchasing an at-home microbiome test, Healthline recommends making an appointment with a healthcare professional who specializes in gut health.
If you’re experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloating, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist or another trusted healthcare professional. They can perform tests to rule out underlying health conditions.
If you’re interested in diet and supplements, considering scheduling a visit with a registered dietitian. A dietitian can review your current diet and supplement regimen and recommend appropriate changes based on your overall health and nutrition needs.
If it’s appropriate for your specific health needs, your doctor or dietitian may recommend using a probiotic supplement such as:
- Culturelle Pro Strength Daily for Women and Men
- Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement for Women and Men
Be sure to talk with a trusted healthcare professional before taking probiotic supplements.
Is Ombre reliable?
Due to a lack of research on the reliability of at-home microbiome testing, Healthline does not currently recommend any at-home microbiome test.
What does Ombre’s Gut Health Test measure?
Currently, the Ombre Gut Heath Test checks for more than 10,000 bacterial species, but it shows only species that “are statistically significant” in your profile.
The Vaginal Health Test checks for more than 125 species commonly found in the vagina.
Are gut health tests worth it?
Because of the lack of research and recommendations from gut health experts, Healthline does not currently recommend at-home microbiome tests.
More research is needed to understand whether at-home microbiome tests provide reliable data that can be used to create personalized health interventions.
Ombre (Thryve) is a manufacturer of at-home gut health tests and dietary supplements.
While some users report receiving valuable information in their personalized microbiome report, the company and its products failed Healthline’s extensive vetting process.
Ombre makes exaggerated claims about the health benefits of its supplements, and there is not enough evidence to support the use of any at-home microbiome test at this time.