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The Gut Microbiome and hormonal Health: Bacteria, viruses and fungi OH MY!

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Let's look at what you really know about the microbiome and how you can support your hormones by loving your gut!


In this post we will be coving a brief into to the gut microbiome, what exactly is the estrobolom and how to support our hormones through a variety of nutrient dense fiber rich foods.


The microbiome has been a buzz word recently and there is so much we are still learning about this very vital and complex component of our health. Here, we will specifically be looking at the gut microbiome. There is an oral microbiome, vaginal microbiome, lung microbiome and on and on.


The gut microbiome refers to the trillions of microorganisms in the digestive system that provides many protective and beneficial roles to our entire system. First, the gut

microbiome plays a crucial part in digestion and absorption of our food as well as synthesizing certain vitamins and other nutrients. They also play a role in metabolism, brain function and immune regulation. It really is astounding the immense impact these critters have on our health. We all have a unique composition but in general, there is a balance to the makeup in each of our microbiomes and how they stay balanced is up to our diet, lifestyle, and environment and of course there is a genetic component. The gut microbiome develops early in life and is affected by many factors such as your parent’s heath and the makeup of their microbiome, whether you were a vaginal birth or c-section, if you were breast or bottle feed and more. As we grow, our diet, lifestyle, environment, and many other factors, shape our continually evolving microbiome.


In this visual you can see symptoms of dysfunction as well as ways to support to estrobolom.


There is a specific part of the microbiome that handles estrogen called the estrobolom. Its entire existence is to regulate estrogen levels and is made up of 60 species of bacteria (Gange). The estrobolom has a massively important job where enzymes and other by-products of the bacteria deconstruct and recycle excreted estrogens. Bacteria in the estrobolom produce an enzyme called Beta Glucuronidase. Beta-glucuronidase helps breakdown estrogens and regulates how much estrogen is reabsorbed back into the system or excreted out of the body. However, too much of this helpful enzyme is no longer helpful and at high levels sends excess reactivates the estrogen metabolites and sends them back into the blood steam instead of out of the body in stool. Calcium-d-glucarate is a very support option for supplementation here.


There is a specific part of the microbiome that handles estrogen called the estrobolom. Its entire existence is to regulate estrogen levels and is made up of 60 species of bacteria.

Bacteria in our estrobolom can also convert lignans found in the plants we eat and convert them into phytoestrogens. In addition, when estrogen levels are high, certain bacteria can block estrogen receptors and protect the body from excess estrogen exposure (Gange). On the other hand, when estrogen levels are low, phytoestrogens may provide a needed source of the hormones. When the gut microbiome is dysbiootic, this whole amazing process becomes dysfunctional and can lead to estrogen imbalances.


Ways to help decrease Beta glucuronidase

FIBER AND DIVERSITY are SOOOOO IMPORTANT!


Dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the microbes in the gut, occurs due to an imbalance between “good” and “bad” bacteria. This imbalance starts to break

down the muscin lining of the cells in the GI tract. The muscin lining acts as a protective layer blocking harmful contaminants from making contact with the cells that line the GI tract. Once these cells are no longer protected, they begin to break down the tight junctions that hold the cells together. This leads to leaky gut where large food particles and other unwelcomed contaminants end up in our blood stream. These unwelcomed visitors cause systemic inflammation and alert our immune system to invaders and chaos ensues.



Ways to support the microbiome:

Eat a variety of ideally organic vegetable and fruits daily (aim as high as 25 different veggies and fruits a week)

Focus on fiber rich veggies and fruits

Eliminate sugar and processed foods


Ways to reduce inflammation:

Remove gluten containing grains – gluten along with dairy and soy are common allergens for many people. Gluten, specifically, has been linked to leaky gut and systemic inflammation.


Remove processed sugar (agave, white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, saccharin– even just moderate levels processed sugar leads to insulin resistance and inflammation and should be reduced for general health as well as hormonal health.


Reduce or eliminate dairy – As mentioned above, dairy is highly inflammatory for many people. If well tolerated, aim for dairy products from grass-fed, pesticide and antibiotic free sources.


Avoid soy products - another common allergen that can interfere with estrogenic effects and can increase inflammation. Organic fermented soy is your best option if it is tolerated well.


Avoid alcohol


Increase:

Omega-3 rich foods like cold water small fish – salmon, anchovies, herring and sardines, pastured eggs, pastured meat, flax, help and chia are all reliable sources.


Consume antioxidant rich foods –

Vit C containing foods – bell peppers, citrus fruits, acerola cherries, raw broccoli, kiwi

Vit E rich foods – olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados

Carotenoids (red, orange, and yellow veggies)


References

Gagne, E. Estrogen Dominance and Dysbiosis. The Female Microbiome: Science and Protocols to Support a Women’s Lifestyle and Lifecycle. Microbiome Labs. Sept 15th, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQYrLBADzjI. Date accessed Sept 20th, 2022.





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