Spotlight on the Gut Microbiome in Menopause: Current Insights

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The gut microbiome is an important contributor to human health, shaped by many endogenous and exogenous factors. The gut microbiome displays sexual dimorphism, suggesting influence of sex hormones, and also has been shown to change with aging. Yet, little is known regarding the influence of menopause – a pivotal event of reproductive aging in women – on the gut microbiome. Here, we summarize what is known regarding the interrelationships of female sex hormones and the gut microbiome, and review the available literature on menopause, female sex hormones, and the gut microbiome in humans. Taken together, research suggests that menopause is associated with lower gut microbiome diversity and a shift toward greater similarity to the male gut microbiome, however more research is needed in large study populations to identify replicable patterns in taxa impacted by menopause. Many gaps in knowledge remain, including the role the gut microbiome may play in menopause-related disease risks, and whether menopausal hormone therapy modifies menopause-related change in the gut microbiome. Given the modifiable nature of the gut microbiome, better understanding of its role in menopause-related health will be critical to identify novel opportunities for improvement of peri-and post-menopausal health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1072
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • estrobolome
  • estrogen
  • gut microbiome
  • menopause
  • microbial translocation
  • progesterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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