BOTH WOMEN AND MEN HAVE AN ESTROBOLOME, which plays an important and functional role in maintaining normal testosterone and estrogen balance in men and women via the microbiome (billions of bacteria and their genes).
The estrobolome is defined as 'the aggregate of enteric bacterial genes whose products are capable of metabolising estrogens' . (Plottel and Blaser)
GUT BACTERIA RULE
The importance and the impact of our gut microbiota (billions of colonies of gut bacteria) extends way beyond the confines of our gut, impacting our physical and mental health in multiple ways.
It is also worth noting that estrogen receptors are not solely confined to our reproductive organs but can be found in the brain, bones, adipose (fat) tissue as well as in the intestines.
Much like the microbiome, the estrobolme is easily affected by diet, lifestyle, environmental exposure to toxins, genes, antibiotic use, alcohol, our age, and whether or not you were delivered vaginally or by caesarian section.
The primary influence that our gut microbiome has on the estrobolome is via the secretion of an enzyme called Beta-glucuronidase.
More than 50 species of gut bacteria have been identified that can encode for Beta-glucuronidase. Narrowing it down to 4 main groups of phyla: Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Verrucomicrobia, and Proteobacteria.
Beta-glucuronidase helps breakdown complex carbohydrates and supports absorption and digestion in the body. It is also a vital element in estrogen metabolism in the liver and needs to be present in just the right amounts. Not too little, and not too much.
Estrogens are primarily produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and adipose (fat) tissue and circulate in the bloodstream in free or protein-bound form. But first they undergo metabolism in the liver.
During Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification processes the various estrogens are hydroxylated, methylated and conjugated via glucuronidation before being excreted from the body via bile, urine, and faeces.
However, a percentage of the conjugated estrogens excreted in the bile can be deconjugated by the bacterial species, Beta-glucuronidase, leading to their reabsorption back into circulation rather than being excreted.
It is these 'active' deconjugated, unbound estrogens that enter the bloodstream and react with estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) and estrogen receptor beta (ERb) that may cause issues.
High levels of Beta-glucuronidase signifies that all is not happy and balanced within the gut (gut dysbiosis) and may then disrupt estrogen balance in the body.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT AND ABSORB
The saying 'you are what you eat and absorb' may be particularly relevant when it comes to gut health, detoxification genes and enzymes.
High levels of Beta-glucuronidase detected in a stool test, may be a warning sign for detoxification problems and hormone-dependent breast cancer and prostate cancer, as well as colon cancer and should be ruled out with further testing and further medical advice.
SIGNS OF ESTROBOLOME DYSFUNCTION MAY INCLUDE:
PCOS and Endothelial Hyperplasia
Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
FACTORS THAT MAY LEAD TO ELEVATED BETA-GLUCURONIDASE LEVELS
Insufficient detoxification enzyme activity and rate of clearance of toxic metabolites
High saturated fat diet
HOW TO HELP LOWER BETA-GLUCURONIDASE
Reduce or avoid alcohol
Avoid chargrilled meats
Reduce or avoid exposure to toxins in household and personal products
Reduce exposure to plastics. Use BPA-free products
Support Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxifcation pathways by increase intake of cruciferous and allium vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, radish, onion, garlic)
Support gut bacteria with appropriate probiotics
Increase intake of prebiotic fibre found in fruits and vegetables. Try and use organic produce wherever possible.
Supplement with Calcium D-Glucarate and/or DIM if necessary.
Glucuronic acid can also be found in citrus rind (orange and lemon peel), oranges, lettuce, apples, broccoli, cabbage, flaxseeds
EGCG found in green tea.
Genistein found in non-GMO organic soy
Stool testing is available through Your Gene Team, along with DNA OESTROGEN testing for both men and women. Your Gene Team is here to help support you on your journey to optimal health and vitality.