Chunlab launches health care services centering on feces analyzation

By Lim Jeong-yeo

‘Personalized care for gut health leads to prevention of bigger illnesses’

Published : Jun 30, 2020 - 15:17
Updated : Jul 1, 2020 - 00:01

Chunlab CEO Chun Jong-sik (Chunlab)

We know this by many names. Poo, feces, stool, turd, excrement. ... The list can grow endless if imaginative children join in.

But scatology is not a matter to be lightly regarded, as “gut feelings” take on a literal meaning in health care. Chunlab, a microbiome research firm, on Tuesday launched three-step services analyzing feces for personalized health care.

Chunlab’s Gut Inside survey collects excrement in a bag and analyzes the beneficial and harmful bacteria found in it in order to learn the status of a person’s gut health.

The company then offers three different types of biotics P, B and O according to the analytics result.

Finally, a smartphone app called pibio continually challenges users to monitor the condition of their daily stool.

Seo Hyung-seok (left) is the senior research engineer behind the smartphone app pibio (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

Why is what comes out of our body so important?

Bill Gates in 2019 had counted microbiome as a game-changer for global problems such as malnutrition and immune system-based anti-cancer treatment.

In the past decade, the attention on microbiome increased so much so that 60,000 peer-reviewed papers were published on the subject. 

In short, our body contains over 38 trillion microorganisms of which 95 percent inhabit the guts. The number of these microorganisms surpass that of our cells, which are, on average, around 30 trillion.

Dysbiosis, an imbalance in the gut microbiomes causes inflammation in bowel, body and brain which can eventually lead to chronic tiredness, metabolic disease, autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease and neurologic disorders.

By safeguarding the prevalence of prevotella (pibio) and bacteroides in the guts, Chunlab seeks to prevent the onset of inflammations of organs that can be the start of more serious illnesses.

“If you’re the type who likes going to a restaurant frequented by different chefs, then you will like Chunlab,” said CEO Chun Jong-sik at the launching event for the Gut Inside, biotics products and the pibio app.

Chun is a microbiologist and professor of biological sciences at Seoul National University.

Chunlab is not only comprised of experts of biology and medicine, but also over 1,200 microbiome researchers from 150 countries access its EZ BioCloud on a daily basis for their studies.

The company’s businesses in microbiome analysis cloud, probiotics health care and treatment developments for serious illnesses are based on its gut bacteria bank, gut bacteria genome databank, big data and bioinformatics and artificial intelligence.

“What we eat determines our microbiome distribution, not our race or ethnicity,” CEO Chun said.

“Homo sapiens had a good relationship with microbiome in their hunter-gatherer ancestry. But over time the dietary habits have shifted from rough, raw crops to processed, soft starch, leading to the destruction of optimal microbiome ecosystem. Excessively clean environment has also ironically removed beneficial bacteria from the human system,” said Chun.

The top 10 most common types of gut microbiome found in Koreans due to their shared dietary habits (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

While emphasizing personalized probiotics and corresponding dietary scheme for holistic health care, Chunlab is also developing microbiome-originated pipelines for immuno-oncology, gastrointestinal disorders, liver disease and neurological disorders. The developments are in early stages of discovery and animal testing.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (


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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation