The more diverse the gut microbiome, the better your mood and life. Why is this, scientists have recently found out. It turns out that some opportunistic bacteria (for example, klebsiella aerogenes) make an enzyme that destroys estrogens (female sex hormones). And when there is little estrogen, then aggression rises, people begin to throw themselves at each other. This, by the way, is the basis of the notorious PMS. How to support the “good” bacteria in the body, and, accordingly, mood and health?
About the study and the conclusions that we can draw from it for ourselves, aif.ru told Professor of the School of Systems Biology at George Mason University (USA) Ancha Baranova.
Who “ate” estrogen?
Naturally, if a disease is detected, that is, some kind of harmful bacterium that leads to severe inflammation in the intestines, then this is treated with antibiotics. When there is simply a change in the microbiome (community of microorganisms), an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria sets in, then the use of antibiotics, although it remains in the doctor’s arsenal, most often follows the path of eliminating the imbalance. To balance the microbiome, various probiotics or phage therapy can be used (treatment of bacterial infections with viruses that infect bacteria – bacteriophages – ed.).
Why is it a problem that “bad” bacteria “eat” estrogen? And why is this problem more important for women closer to menopause than for young girls? The fact is that as we age, we lose the diversity of our microbiome. By the age of 45-50, there is usually a lack of estrogen, because by this age a person has usually already taken several courses of antibiotics – for the treatment of pneumonia, other bacterial infections. That is why after each use of any antibiotics, we must definitely try to restore the intestines to the maximum in order to prevent problems in adulthood. Don’t think that everything will work itself out. For example, after the use of so-called “heavy” antibiotics, such as cephalosporins, the restoration of the microbiome takes six months or more. This is with an initially good state of the microbiome, a variety of bacteria in the intestines. And if the microbiome has already suffered, and we “nailed” it with an antibiotic from above, then recovery can be delayed for a year. Therefore, if you are taking antibiotics, it is important to take probiotics at the same time as they are, and not later.
How to help yourself?
How to maintain microbiome diversity throughout life? First of all, nutrition. Try to eat a lot of different foods. For example, if it’s a salad, alternate between different vegetables. Your diet should be rich in fiber (dietary fiber). Dietary fiber provides not only vegetables and fruits, but also cereals – buckwheat, millet, etc.
Probiotic preparations, which are sold in pharmacies, also matter. They can be taken without a doctor’s prescription, including prophylactically. But you need to choose not any probiotic, but one in which the most diverse composition of microorganisms – many different strains and a large number of bacteria.
A daily dose that contains at least 5 billion colony stimulating units (in one probiotic capsule) is recommended. Plus, the drug should include many types of beneficial bacteria. Why is there a need for a wide variety of strains? Since microbiomes are different for everyone, one particular strain may simply not take root in your particular gut. And then, no matter how much you use it, it will not help you. And since you can’t guess which strain will stay in the gut less and which one longer, there must be biodiversity.
Studies have shown that bacteria from probiotics do not live in the gut for more than one to two weeks. They disappear. However, during their time in the intestines, they change the environment in such a way that it becomes easier for your beneficial, good bacteria to exist. That is, probiotics, as it were, “fertilize” everything around them, producing the right so-called postbiotics – short-chain fatty acids, etc. And this helps the microbiome recover faster.
Therefore, the task of everyone throughout life is not to lose the diversity of the microbiome and help it recover faster. Thanks to this, our microbiome will be more stable, which means our well-being and mood too.