The link between gut health and estrogen balance

by Ashleigh Feltham,  Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist

Your gut is the home to trillions of microbes. The amount and variety of the microbes within your gut can either promote or hinder your health. Your gut microbiome has an impact on the amount of estrogen circulating in your body.

Each type of microbe plays a different role in keeping your body functioning at its best. When your diet does not have enough fibre or a variety of different types of fibre that feed the health-promoting types of microbes, there can be a shift in the function of the microbes in your gut or the growth of a less healthy type of microbe. This can cause you ill health.

Estrogen is one hormone that needs a specific microbe type called estrobolome to be used in your body. Your liver sends out estrogen in an inactive form that your body does not recognize. The estrobolome convert the inactive form of estrogen to the active form with the enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. Without this process, the estrogen will stay in its inactive form and be excreted out of your body.

gut health and estrogen balance

The estrobolome regulates how much estrogen is converted to its active form and which is left to be excreted. If your gut microbiome is out of balance, this can form the healthy regulation of estrogen activation to be out of balance. The estrobolome can react to this dysbiosis by increasing or decreasing the amount of estrogen it activates.

This can lead to many ill-health conditions including increased risk of heart disease, obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, impact fertility, increase your risk of osteoporosis and cause poor skin health.

Your diet plays a major role in impacting the activity of the estrobolome. A varied diet that includes 30 different plant foods each week as well as achieving the recommended 25-38g of dietary fibre each day is a gut loving habit to include. This can seem like a lot of fibre to add to your day. South Australian Gourmet Food Company Fruit Custards with Added Fibre gives your body 10.9-11g of dietary fibre in each delicious custard. This is around 1/3rd of your needs.

In addition to this, including 2-3 serves of probiotic-rich foods each day. This includes yoghurt, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, green olives, natto, cottage cheese and kanji.

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Take home message:

There’s a link between gut health and estrogen balance. Your gut microbiome composition is the conductor of healthy estrogen regulation. Keep your gut healthy and keep the highly tightly regulated levels of circulating estrogen in balance for optimal health.



  1. Baker JM, Al-Nakkash L, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. Estrogen-gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications. Maturitas. 2017 Sep;103:45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.06.025. Epub 2017 Jun 23. PMID: 28778332.