But back to me. Turns out my most abundant microbe belonged to a genus called Prevotella, which has anti-inflammatory properties. I had 19 times more Prevotella than average. Why? Did this mean I had superior poop? Could my obsessive tendency to eat oatmeal, berries and nuts for breakfast every day finally be paying off? I felt like I needed to find someone to interpret my bacterial tea leaves.
Rob Knight, one of the project’s lead scientists, couldn’t say whether I’ve got the golden gut. The project isn’t meant to be a diagnostic test, after all, just an interesting breakdown of the different species in our individual body jungles.
As American Gut continues to recruit participants, however, Knight hopes his team will start to see more patterns in how diet and certain bacteria affect health. Until then, I’ll keep eating my oatmeal.
[This article originally appeared in print as "Getting to the Guts of It."]