Why Both Men and Women Need Oestrogen

by
Dr. Ariel Thorpe

In addition to the important balance of microbes in our gut which aid in digestion, hormone production, and strengthening our body’s immune defences, there are bacterial genes within some of these microbes that help us with a vital form of detox. These are known are our estrobolome - a specific set of bacterial genes that secrete an essential enzyme for oestrogen metabolism and breakdown.

Oestrogen metabolism is important for everyone - not just women - because we all produce and require oestrogen to maintain various vital bodily functions like bone density, brain function and inflammation control. While many associate oestrogen with the female reproductive system, oestrogen is also essential for men in maintaining healthy libido and sperm production. While men and women require significantly different levels of oestrogen, neither gender can stay healthy without it.

Oestrogen may be essential for all, but like many hormones, it needs to be regularly built up and broken down by the body to maintain good health. If oestrogen hangs around beyond its intended purpose, the built-up excess may lead to significant physical and mental health problems for both men and women, such as cancer, depression, anxiety, and weight gain. For women, one can also experience abnormal bleeding and fibrocystic breasts;  in men, it could result in a loss of muscle mass, dysfunction of sexual reproductive organs and gynecomastia.

Here is where the estrobolome in our gut plays its part. The enzyme secreted from this group of bacteria, called beta-glucuronidase, can either help or harm us depending on the balance of bacteria in the gut. The good thing is your body was built to maintain the perfect balance of all microorganisms and chemicals, so long as you are giving yourself a healthy internal and external environment. Remember that the human body is highly adaptable. Our microbiome works so efficiently that even switching between an omnivorous and plant-based diet can alter our gut’s bacterial composition and function within just 24 hours, meaning it’s never too late to optimise our hormone levels.

Here are 6 important lifestyle tips that you can try right away to help your oestrogen production and balance your gut bacteria:

  1. Eat plenty of organic, nutrient-dense, and fibre-rich vegetables.
  2. Avoid meats that have been treated with antibiotics by sticking to organic livestock.
  3. If you take antibiotics for an infection, load up on healthy bacteria during and after your course of medication with fermented foods and health supplements (Please consult with your doctor before implementing new supplements into your diet).
  4. Drink from glass or metal bottles rather than plastics. Bisphenol A (BPA) and other plastic endocrine disruptors can be toxic for our gut, which may cause issues and disruption to the healthy balance of gut bacteria.
  5. Limit alcohol consumption. . Alcohol negatively impacts our gut and liver, which are essential to oestrogen detox.
  6. Keep your spine safe and strong with chiropractic check-ups and adjustments. Ensuring your nervous system is in optimal function is essential to proper gut function.

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