Microgenderome – what is it, and why it should matter to men?
Microgenderome, what does that mean? Essentially, it defines the interplay between our sex-specific hormones (testosterone, estrogen) and the microbiome.
Communities of microbiomes are everywhere on our body. These communities reside on or in our tissues and body fluids, including skin, placenta, saliva, lung and gut. Here, at Gut Performance™, we focus on the gut microbiome.
The gut microbiome contributes to how we feel daily, both our mind and body. It may also predispose us or protect us from several health conditions, depending on how diverse and healthy the microbiome is.
It’s been known for some time that sex hormones and immune responses are in part regulated by the gut microbiome. However, it appears that gender has a role in determining our microbiome – hence the term microgenderome.
Researchers have established that the gut microbiome varies significantly between men and women. The primary biological driver of these differences is the gender-dependent hormone levels of estrogen and testosterone (Haro, et al., 2016) (Santos-Marcos, et al., 2019).
What are the differences, and why do they matter?
This is still a new area of research and there are regular discoveries and refinements to be added.
It is generally agreed that women have a greater diversity in their gut microbiome, but they also have a different makeup of species of bacteria. Additionally, it appears there are different types of microbial imbalances in men and women.
The microgenderome is thought to explain the gender differences observed in metabolic illness such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other autoimmune diseases. For example, men are more likely to get diabetes before puberty. Women are more likely to develop diabetes in menopause.
Interestingly, research has also shown that men and women respond differently to some diets. In a recent study, men and women’s gut microbiome reacted well to the Mediterranean diet. However, there was a poor outcome for the low-fat diet in men. This caused a proliferation of hydrogen sulfide-producing bacteria that are related to gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (Santos-Marcos, et al., 2019).
This is extremely significant. It proves that various dietary recommendations are definitely not a one size fits all. They can potentially cause a gut imbalance, leading to significant disease.
- There are differences between the microbiome of men and women.
- These differences can predispose men and women to various metabolic and immune diseases throughout the lifespan.
- If your gut microbiome is imbalanced, it could be impacting your hormones, the disease you develop as well as your mood and energy.
- Research is ongoing to further explore the differences and the impact of hormones on the microbiome of men and women.
Gut Performance is an active prebiotic to bring your gut microbiome back to a healthy environment. It’s not just for women. Men can also benefit from the improved health and reduced gut inflammation.
If you have any gut health symptoms you find worrying, please seek the guidance of your trusted health care professional.
Haro, C., Rangel-Zuniga, O. A., Alcala-Diaz, J. F., Gomex-Delgado, F., Perez-Martinez, P., Delgado-Lista, J., . . . Camargo, A. (2016). Intestinal Microbiota is influenced by Gender and Body Mass Index. PloS one, 11(5). doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154090
Santos-Marcos, J. A., Haro, C., Vega-Rojas, A., Alcala-Diaz, J. F., Molina-Abril, H., Leon-Acuna, A., . . . Camargo, A. (2019). Sex Differences in the Gut Microbiota as Potential Determinants of Gender Predisposition to Disease. Molecular nutrition and food research, 63(7). DOI:e1800870. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201800870