Gut Microbiome + Estrogen = Estrobolome
You’ve probably heard of the gut microbiome. It is the sophisticated community of microbes within our gut. These superbugs are constantly working with the digestive system, nervous system, immune system, and play a very important role in our health. We are born with our microbiome - it is given by our mothers during birth.
But….have you heard about the estrobolome? It is the repertoire of microbiota in the gut, responsible for the metabolism of estrogens and hormone balance.
It all starts in the liver - this is where estrogen is primarily broken down (hence, why supporting liver function is crucial for hormone balance). Estrogen then circulates in the bile, and makes its way to the gut - where it comes into contact with the gut bacteria (estrobolome). The microbes that make up the estrobolome synthesize an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase - responsible for estrogen metabolism. Beta-glucoranidase reabsorbs estrogen, and converts inactive estrogen into an active form that can be used by the body. Simply put, it is responsible for estrogen balance, and detoxification.
An imbalance in the estrobolome (caused by a gut dysbiosis) can cause either a deficiency, or an excess of beta-glucuronidase, throwing off the estrogen balance within the body.
A gut dysbiosis is when there is an imbalance in the gut microbiome - specifically an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, and a deficiency of the beneficial bacteria within the gut. There are several causes, such as a diet high in sugar, food additives, processed foods, alcohol, smoking, certain pharmaceutical drugs, high levels of stress and anxiety, and much more.
In a healthy microbiome, most estrogen exits the body via the feces, and only a small amount of estrogen is reabsorbed.
In an unhealthy microbiome, only a small amount of estrogen exits the body, and most estrogen goes back into the body.
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