Yes, that’s right your gut bacteria have an important role to play when it comes to oestrogen metabolism. If you’re experiencing hormonal symptoms such as PMS, bloating, weight gain, breast tenderness, all common symptoms of oestrogen dominance (too much oestrogen vs progesterone) or, lack of focus, poor short-term memory, low mood, increased appetite, hot flushes (too little oestrogen) then your gut bacteria could be involved.
The gut bacteria that participate in the metabolism of oestrogen in the gut are known as the ‘estrobolome’. Your gut bacteria have an important role not only in immunity but in managing circulating oestrogen inside the body. Once oestrogen is metabolized in the liver, it is secreted into bile and dumped into the small intestine. Here the estrobolome secretes beta glucuronidase which breaks down the oestrogen so it can be absorbed through the gut into the bloodstream.
If you have an overgrowth of these types of bacteria, more oestrogen can be circulated around the body instead of being eliminated which means it adds to the oestrogen load and could worsen symptoms of oestrogen dominance. If again, there’s not much diversity in the types of bacteria in the gut, too few of these bugs can result in low levels of circulating oestrogen. This highlights just how important it is to look after the gut and eat a wide range of vegetables to feed your gut bacteria.
Two of the biggest factors that impact the estrobolome are fibre intake and alcohol consumption. If your diet is low in fibre it can result in too much oestrogen circulating around the body. The recommended daily intake for fibre is between 21-30 grammes per day dependent on age but so many people do not get anywhere near these amounts. For example, 1 cup of broccoli contains 5g of fibre, 1 apple contains 4.5g of fibre, 1 cup of oatmeal (instant) contains 5g of fibre, and 1 cup of cooked black beans contains 15g of fibre.
Drinking too much alcohol decreases bacterial diversity in the gut and impairs the detoxification of oestrogen in the liver resulting in higher circulating levels. This greatly affects the menstrual cycle and is associated with a drop in egg production and damage to the ovaries.
The health of your gut is super important when it comes to hormones. If you are struggling with hormonal symptoms do get in touch. Testing and the right dietary approach can really make a difference to your health.
Find out more about how exercise, fasting, diet, and lifestyle can play havoc with your hormones and your weight loss efforts by joining my Facebook Group Superconscious Slimmers right here.