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Gut microbiome and menopause

Podcast Season 2 Episode 1 transcript.

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The microbiome is a bustling community of trillions of microbes—bacteria, viruses, fungi—living in and on our bodies, playing an essential role in our overall health.

A decline in oestrogen levels triggers a cascade of changes in the body.  This also affects the delicate balance of our microbiome, influencing everything from metabolism to mood and quality of sleep.

In this podcast, we are going to discuss the Gut Microbiome.

A healthy gut microbiome plays a vital role in the metabolism of dietary fibre, amino acids, and hormones. It is also connected to the brain through chemical and immune pathways.

When the human body hits puberty, the gut microbiome changes through the teenage years into adulthood according to biological gender. This indicates that sex hormones are at least partially responsible for these changes.

Each person develops a unique microbiome identity as they age, which stabilises around the age of 40. This uniqueness is due to the individual’s lifestyle, diet, immunity, and metabolism.

Adult women initially have a more diverse microbiome than men. This difference fades with age, possibly due to the effects of menopause. In fact, the gut microbiome in postmenopausal women resembles that of men more than premenopausal women.

Menopause disrupts the gut microbiome. In menopausal women, the prevalence of certain bacteria leads to local inflammation in many different tissues, which can lead to insulin resistance, lowering metabolism and increasing fat gain. Gut flora disruption also results in gastric issues like bloating, stomach cramps and constipation.

To build and maintain a healthy Gut Biome:

Prioritise a plant-based diet to eat plenty of fibre that feeds our microbiome. These foods are called prebiotics and include apples, asparagus, onions, leeks, garlic, and legumes.

Probiotic-rich food includes fermented food like yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso or kimchi. You can also find probiotic supplements. 

Avoid anti-inflammatory medication when possible. Research shows that medications like ibuprofen cause an imbalance in the gut microbiome and erode the mucosal gut barrier, which can lead to ulcers. These medications should be used sparingly, but if there is a medical need for regular use, your doctor should prescribe another medication that protects your stomach.

Also, avoid artificial sweeteners. A study in the British Medical Journal found that aspartame and saccharin disrupt the balance and diversity of the gut microbiome.

Last but not least, finding ways to reduce stress and practising mindfulness has also been shown to impact the gut positively.

See our selection of supplements on our Amazon Storefront:


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