The Microbiome and Estrogen: What’s the Connection?
The Microbiome and Estrogen:
What’s the Connection?
Understanding how our microbiome influences our health has become a very important topic, and for good reason. Research has begun to highlight its role in areas such as immune function and neurotransmitter production. But what about estrogen? Cue the estrobolome. The estrobolome refers to a collection of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that have the enzymatic capability to metabolize and modulate estrogen.
So what does that mean?
Estrogen metabolism first begins in the liver where it undergoes two important phases that results in the formation of inactive estrogen metabolites. From the liver, these inactive metabolites are released into the gastrointestinal tract in order to be excreted from the body. Certain bacteria with beta-glucuronidase enzymatic activity have the ability to re-activate those estrogen metabolites, allowing for them to be re-absorbed into circulation and to act on estrogen receptors.
Why can this become a problem?
A healthy gut microbiome produces the right amount of beta-glucuronidase to support estrogen metabolism and modulation. Estrogen is very important for reproductive health, cardiovascular health, mood, and healthy bones. But too much of one thing is never a good idea. Dysbiosis within the microbiome can contribute to increased levels of beta-glucuronidase activity, resulting in alterations in estrogen metabolism. Higher levels of estrogen can contribute to health concerns such as irregular menstrual bleeding, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, infertility, and estrogen dependent cancers.
Supporting a healthy microbiome can have a profound impact on our hormones. If you are interested in learning more about how to support your microbiome as means to support healthy hormones, let’s work together! You can book a consult through the booking link on my website.
Although these recommendations are a general guideline, every person’s dietary needs are unique. We can work together to create dietary plan that is attainable and sustainable for you.
This post is intended for educational purposes only. Please speak to your licensed health care provider before implementing any health recommendations or treatments.
I’m Dr. Sam Bowen, a licensed naturopathic doctor practicing in the Vancouver area. From a young age, I have always aspired to work in the field of health and medicine. Growing up on Salt Spring Island, BC, I developed a strong curiosity to better understand the various factors that influence our health. I truly believed that the path to optimal health was more complex than just treating our presenting symptoms.
College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC)
British Columbia Naturopathic Association (BCNA)
Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND)
Acupuncture – CNPBC certified
Intravenous Therapies – CNPBC certified
Prescriptive Authority in BC – CNPBC certified
Naturopathic Advanced Life Support – OHM Medical
B.Sc. Honours in Health Promotion – Dalhousie University
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine – Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
Holistic Nutrition Certificate Program – Pacific Rim College