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Gut and hormones in balance

June 23rd, 2022  

Sophie Dangl on the connection between the gut microbiome and hormones

The gut microbiome, consisting of thousands of different strains of bacteria, influences our health on all levels. The gut bacteria control our organism by deciding which food components are absorbed and which are excreted. But the gut is more than just a digestive tube, because much more happens here. Our microbiome controls our immune system and has a significant influence on our body weight.

An imbalance in the composition of the microbiome can have a negative impact on our well-being. Besides gastrointestinal complaints and food intolerances, chronic inflammatory diseases as well as allergies, but also psychological and neurological diseases can be the consequences of this imbalance. The gut microbiome thus influences our entire organism and thus also our hormones. The connection between the microbiome and hormone balance is receiving more and more attention in research. Research results show that the gut microbiome plays an essential role in the formation and regulation of our hormones. (1)

Hormone factory gut

Our gut and brain are closely connected via the enteric nervous system. They communicate via this through metabolic products produced by our gut bacteria.

Depending on the composition of our gut microbiome, up to 30 different hormones are produced directly in the gut. First and foremost the happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine. Our sleep hormone melatonin also originates in large quantities in the gut. No wonder, because serotonin and melatonin both have the same starting product: L-tryptophan.

L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid, i.e. one that the body cannot produce itself and must therefore be supplied in sufficient quantities through food. It is the precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and thus influences mood, performance and well-being. However, L-tryptophan not only serves as a precursor, but also plays a decisive role in the balance between the immune tolerance of the gut and the maintenance of the gut microbiota. Research has shown that this amino acid has far-reaching effects on gut microbial composition, microbial metabolism and the immune system. So if there is too little L-tryptophan in the body, not enough serotonin is made from it, and in turn not enough melatonin is made from it, which means the effects extend across our mood, our performance and therefore our overall state of being. (2)

We now know a lot about the impact of different gut bacteria on our mood, brain and immune system. But it extends far beyond that. The focus of research is becoming increasingly specific. It is looking more and more at specific areas of the microbiome within our gut. In the field of hormone regulation and production, special attention is being paid to the so-called ” estrobolome”.

The estrobolome is a collection of microbes that are capable of producing estrogens themselves.

Was ist das Östrobolom?

This is a collection of microbes that are able to produce oestrogens themselves. Oestrogen plays a role not only in the female sex, but also in the male organism. It has a great influence on cardiovascular health, regulates body fat, is involved in bone building, but also has an influence on memory function and cell division. In men, it also contributes to sperm development.

The female organism primarily has three different types of oestrogen with different functions. All of them are produced in the ovaries and in fatty tissue, that is well known. What is less well known is that oestrogen is also produced by some gut bacteria. It is precisely this group of bacteria that is called the “estrobolome”. It should also be remembered that the different types of oestrogen influence each other, with the estrobolome playing a particularly important role. It modulates the circulation of these oestrogens in the body and has a significant influence on whether oestrogen is excreted or continues to circulate in the body. Thus, it regulates our oestrogen levels.

Genetic factors, the type of diet, alcohol consumption, environmental influences and medications, especially antibiotics and hormonal contraceptives, can sometimes greatly upset the estrobolome and thus the balance of estrogen in the body. (3)

The gut microbiome plays an essential role in regulating oestrogen levels.

What happens when the estrobolome is out of balance?

The gut microbiome plays an essential role in regulating oestrogen levels in the body, deciding which oestrogen is secreted or whether it is reactivated in the gut. In this way, it influences the risk of developing hormone-related diseases. If the microbiome is healthy, the organism in the ovaries of the woman produces the right amount of the enzyme ß-glucoronidase. This has the task of regulating the oestrogen level. An imbalance in the microbiome can impair the activity of this enzyme and thus causes an undersupply or oversupply of oestrogen. This has already been linked to a wide range of diseases, from breast and prostate cancer to PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and endometriosis. (4)

A closely linked interaction between the gut microbiome and hormone balance, our immune system and the brain are undisputed and still the subject of medical research. One thing is certain: an imbalanced microbiome has an influence on our entire organism. Therefore, it is obvious to uncover a disturbed gut flora through targeted analysis and to regulate it accordingly in order to positively influence the hormone balance.

Sophie Dangl – passionate biomedical analyst and holistic natural therapist

Who ist Sophie Dangl?

As a biomedical analyst, I have a lot of experience in the field of laboratory medicine, which is why a high-quality analysis is very important to me. In my practice I like to use the myBioma microbiome analysis to get a precise insight into the composition of the gut flora of my clients. In this way, I can support them individually and, above all, in a targeted way and start exactly where their organism and the associated system need help.

For me, a holistic approach consists of an interplay of detailed anamnesis, targeted analysis and individually adapted solutions. Because no two people are alike. My understanding of individual medicine is to recognise and support everyone’s needs. My main concern is that my clients experience the effects of lifestyle medicine for themselves and thus take personal responsibility. We should not prevent causes of illness, but discover causes of life. So that we don’t just function, but live!

I have a very special offer for myBioma clients. Please have a look at my website www.zumoptimum.at. You can also find lots of information about gut health, hormones and holistic health in general on my Instagram account: @zum_optimum.

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References

  1. Clark, et al, „Impact of the Gut Microbiota on Intestinal Immunity Mediated by Tryptophan Metabolism,“ 2014.
  2. Shreiner AB, Kao JY, Young VB. The gut microbiome in health and in disease.", 2015
  3. Maryann Kwa, et al,„The Intestinal Microbiome and Estrogen Receptor-Positive Female Breast Cancer,“ 2016.
  4. James M. Baker, et al, „Maturitas - An internaltional journal of midlife health and beyond,“ 2017.

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