Did you know… your gut is intrinsically linked to your hormonal health? With women’s health and new knowledge on the rise, we wanted to speak to you about the importance of your gut health and how they affect your hormones.
In recent years studies have shown a sex bias on the composition of the gut microenvironment, with research showing that the species and count of bacteria in the gut is influenced by hormones…and likely vice versa.
We know that gut bacteria have important roles in:
However, there is also evidence to suggest that gut bacteria influence hormone levels.
One mechanism by which this may occur is through a bacterial metabolite called B-glucuronidase (an enzyme responsible for breaking down complex carbohydrates). In 2012 Shen et al. proposed this same enzyme also prevents metabolism of oestrogen so that when levels of B-glucoronidase-producing-bacteria are high, so too is circulating oestrogen.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine condition characterised by high androgens (male sex hormones), insulin resistance and hormone dysfunction. Some studies have proposed a role of the gut microbiome in PCOS, with sufferers frequently found to have a significantly less diverse microbiome (Lindheim et al., 2017). In particular, Bacteroides Vulgatus has been found to be elevated posing the theories that: