Personalized microbiome responses to affectors and the aging microbiome

What is this Study about?

There are over 1000 types of bacteria that live in our gut and help us to process foods, and help in nutrient and vitamin uptake. The composition of the bacteria that makes up your microbiome is as unique as you are. Recently, it was discovered that there are disturbances in the gut bacteria of people who have diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, and even depression, anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease. We propose that screening individual microbiomes against compounds and as we age will help understand changes that take place in the microbiome in health and disease and help in the future to select personalized therapeutic approaches. This study will help us understand changes that happen in the microbiome as we age and to better understand the effects of compounds on our gut microbiomes.

What Will Happen in This Study?

Participants provide a stool sample that we use to collect the bacteria. As it happens the bacteria from our poop is a good reflection of our gut bacteria/our gut microbiome. Participants will also be asked to complete a diet questionnaire as our diets influence our bacterial composition. We will determine the composition of the bacteria that makes up each microbiome and how it responds to affectors such as prebiotics, food dyes/additives and medicines.  

Who is Eligible to Participate in this Study?

  • Healthy persons of all ages.
  • You can speak, read and understand English.

Who is NOT Eligible to Participate in this Study?

  • Cancer or undergoing cancer treatment.
  • Experienced an acute or active inflammatory issue within the last month.
  • Taken antibiotics, prebiotics, or probiotics in the past month.
  • Had episodes of gastroenteritis within the last month.
  • Taken anti-diarrheal drugs or laxatives in the last month.
  • Used ibuprofen daily for the last 14 days.
  • A history of GI surgery.
  • Have used traditional Chinese medicines in the last month.
  • Taken metformin in the last month.
  • Taken oral steroids in the last 4 weeks.
  • A comorbidity known to affect the microbiome, including diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, cancer or receiving treatment


Note: Participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

Type of Study

Target Population

Healthy Persons

Target Age Group(s)

All Ages (>5 years)

Study Location - Ottawa

In person or Remote

University of Ottawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences 451 Smyth Rd 4510E Ottawa,ON K1H-8M5

Study Contact

Dr. Janice Mayne

Research Coordinator

University of Ottawa


tel: 613-562-5800 ext. 8073

Principle Investigator

Dr. Daniel Figeys

Recruitment Start Date

Sept 15, 2023

Recruitment End Date

Sept 15, 2025

Interested? Contact Dr. Janice Mayne ( for more details