Many of you know I’m a gut-hormone axis believer and supporter. The presence of the estrobolome and its role in hormone health is among the most important lessons I’ve learned about the gut biome. My menopausal mantra is “gut care is menopause care.” Much like “gut care is skincare.” So I’m sharing a bit about the estrobolome and five ways to support it during perimenopause and post-menopause.
What is the estrobolome?
The estrobolome is a part of the gut biome and comprises of approximately 60 – 70 diverse bacteria and fungi. It breaks down estrogen, which is crucial for people experiencing perimenopause and Post-menopause.
The primary sex hormone in women is estrogen, which plays a role in reproductive health, memory, bone health, cardiovascular health, regulation of body fat, memory, and secondary sex characteristics.
Gut dysbiosis and estrogen related diseases
The microbes in the estrobolome produce an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which breaks down estrogen into its active forms Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3). A healthy gut produces the right amount of beta-glucuronidase to maintain hormone homeostasis or balance. However, a dysbiosis gut or is imbalanced gut can lead to a change in the activity of the beta-glucuronidase.
Consequently, gut dysbiosis can cause an excess or deficiency in free estrogen in the body, leading to diseases like obesity, metabolic syndrome, cancer, endometrial hyperplasia, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, fertility, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cognitive function. (1)
When estrogen builds up in the tissue, it can cause undesirable symptoms like mood swings, depression, excessive hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, etc., which can increase cortisol levels. Furthermore, if estrogen remains in the tissue, it can lead to estrogen-sensitive cancer.
Gut and estrobolome disruptors
Emerging studies have shown that diet and lifestyle practices that disrupt the microbiome can also adversely affect the estrobolome. Namely, hormonal contraceptives and antibiotics alter the gut microbiome and estrogen levels, which means they have a negative impact on the estrobolome.
How to support the estrobolome
The good news is that you can support your gut and estrobolome with a healthy diet and other consistent lifestyle practices. This support will increase the diversity of bacteria, and the estrobolome will be able to metabolize/break down estrogen more efficiently.
Five things you can do to support a healthy estrobloome:
- Eat a diverse range of plant foods like herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, fermented vegetables like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, miso, kefir, natto, pickles, tempeh, etc.
- Nourish your body with healthy fats to protect the gut lining from inflammation. Fats include extra virgin olive oil, avocado, flaxseed, chia seeds, nuts, fatty fish, etc.
- Get “quality” sleep. The estrobolome can carry out its function uninterrupted when the body is resting.
- Limit the toxicants in skincare and food products
- Supplement with a quality broad sprectrum lactobacillus probiotic.
As you can see, the estrobolome is an integral part of hormone health. If I can scream gut health is it from the rooftop, I will. I can testify that optimizing my gut has healed acne and supported my body after a uterine fibroid diagnosis. And currently, as I navigate menopause, it’s even more crucial for me to manage my hormones and maintain harmony. Hope this helps. Comment or ask any questions below.