The gut microbiome is one of the principal regulators of estrogen. A subset of the microbiome can be thought of as the estrobolome – the gut bacteria that secrete an enzyme (beta glucuronidase) which converts estrogen into its active form.
There is a two-way relationship between the gut microbiome and estrogen.
The key is having the right amount of estrogen for your body. Having a healthy, balanced and diverse microbiome which in turn plays a key role in estrogen metabolism is important throughout a woman’s lifetime. Your estrogen level doesn’t just impact the parts of you that are female, there are estrogen receptors expressed on gut cells, brain, bone and fat cells.
Why does this matter?
We women will live approximately a third of our life in a postmenopausal state which is a low estrogen state. It’s important that we maintain a healthy gut microbiome right through menopause in order to mitigate some of the health risks associated with depletion of circulating estrogen, these include our cardiovascular disease risk and our risk of cognitive decline.
What can you do?
More research is needed but the future may include interventions of prebiotics, probiotics or antimicrobial agents designed to specifically target gut species with estrogen metabolism activity. In the meantime, a whole-foods, minimally processed plant-rich diet will do wonders to encourage the microbiome to stay balanced and diverse so that it can do the job of maintaining an equilibrium in estrogen metabolism at every age and stage.
An easy way to nurture good gut health is with a daily dose of an Akesi tonic: rich in plant-based nutrients they’re also your daily multi-strain probiotic. As with all Akesi, they can be taken any time of day, with or without food.