Gut Microbiome and Prostate Cancer

Gut Microbiome, Estrogen Dominance, and Prostate Cancer: The Surprising Connection

Written by: Vincent Pedre M.D. | November 15, 2023 | Time to read 6 min

Introduction

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and for that reason, I want to shine a light on a little-known fact about the possible underlying root cause for prostate cancer.


As the leading type of cancer in men, we all are connected in some way to someone who has or has had prostate cancer. If you or someone you love has had prostate cancer, then this blog post is for you, because I’m about to turn our common knowledge upside down with some shocking revelations.


Did you ever think that your gut microbiome, prostate cancer, and estrogen dominance could be related? 


Let me explain.


It starts with a journey into the intricate world of the gut microbiome and estrogen in men. That’s right, I said, ESTROGEN. Men make it, too, but everyone can also be exposed to it from our environment. Those types of estrogens are called XENOESTROGENS ⸺ and they pose a real risk to our health (both women and men). They're lurking in everyday products like plastics and cosmetics, and they can disrupt our hormonal balance.


In this post, I'll dive into the nitty-gritty details, with (I promise) a sprinkle of positivity ⸺ so stick with me till the end, as I uncover how these factors influence our health. Most importantly, let’s talk about how these factors can create an environment inside a man’s body that would allow prostate cancer to develop.

Bacteroides Massiliensis: A Remarkable Player

Gut Microbiome and Prostate Cancer
Figure 1

Our first stop on this journey takes us deep into the world of the gut microbiome to discover a specific bacteria named Bacteroides massiliensis. This gut bacterium, often overlooked in the sea of gut bacteria, plays a crucial role in prostate cancer (as you can see in Figure 1 above). But what exactly is it, and why should we care?

The Role of Beta-Glucuronidase

To understand the role that Bacteroides massiliensis plays in the story of prostate cancer, we must acquaint ourselves with a very specific enzyme ⸺ beta-glucuronidase ⸺ produced by various gut bacteria (including B. massiliensis). 


This enzyme, though small in size, wields significant power. Its primary job is to release substances from liver metabolites known as glucuronides. The metabolized substances include estrogens, the hormone that is most commonly associated with female developmental traits, and xenoestrogens, environmental chemicals that act and look like estrogens in our bodies but come from foreign sources (not fabricated internally like estrogens).


But why is this important? Having too many of these bacteria in your gut can result in excess metabolized estrogen being released and recirculated back into the body.


Well, as I can attest, the release of metabolized estrogen in your poop back into your bloodstream can have far-reaching consequences, especially when it comes to estrogen dominance


You see estrogen dominance (ED) can lead to a whole host of problems in both men and women. I talked about estrogen dominance in women in this prior blog post.

Estrogen Dominance (ED) Syndromes: A Sneaky Culprit

Let's pause for a moment to understand what estrogen dominance really means. It's not just about individual hormone levels; it's about how your estrogen levels stack up relative to other hormones.


When we discuss estrogen dominance, it's crucial to expand our focus beyond simply measuring estrogen levels. Estrogen dominance is a complex interplay of hormonal imbalances, lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures. While it's commonly associated with women, men can also experience estrogen dominance.

 

ED Defined


Estrogen dominance refers to a relative imbalance between estrogen and other hormones, particularly testosterone and progesterone. Estrogen plays a vital role in female reproductive health, but excessive levels can lead to various adverse effects. 

Basically, when estrogen levels rise due to recirculation back into the body, particularly as a result of these beta-glucuronidase producing bacteria, they create a relative hormonal imbalance within our bodies (whether you’re a cis-female or cis-male or taking hormones for a variety of reasons). 

Testosterone, on the other hand, is the primary male sex hormone, responsible for male characteristics and sexual function. Progesterone, another crucial hormone, balances the effects of estrogen and testosterone.

Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance in Men

Men, you're not off the hook. Estrogen dominance affects both genders. The signs can be subtle, but impactful. Picture this: fatigue, mood swings that rival a rollercoaster, a dip in your libido, and perhaps the unwelcome appearance of breast tissue (the unsightly “man boobs”). 


Gynaecomastia

But there's more - an increased risk of prostate cancer. Yes, the very word we all dread.


Recent research, such as Estrogen and prostate cancer: an eclipsed truth in an androgen-dominated scenario, suggests that elevated estrogen levels are a risk factor for prostate cancer. The study emphasizes the need for a better understanding of the factors influencing estrogen levels in men. Unfortunately, the role of estrogen in prostate cancer was eclipsed for years by a myopic focus on testosterone as the causative agent.

Can estrogen dominance be reversed?

The short answer is⸺yes. With the right, targeted steps, including a gut-healing program like the HAPPY GUT 28-Day Cleanse, you can start taking steps in the right direction.  It’s our signature cleanse that will help you:

✔️ Balance Hormones

✔️ Restore Energy
✔️ Remove gut irritants and toxins from your body
✔️ Resolve Bloating, Indigestion, and Heartburn
✔️ Prevent or turn back the clock on autoimmune disease
✔️ Drastically lower stress and anxiety levels
✔️ Optimize your focus and mental clarity

In many cases, lifestyle changes and avoiding xenoestrogens can go a long way in rebalancing hormone levels. If you try these simple changes but still feel that your hormones are out of balance, then please consult with a functional medicine-certified doctor (like myself) for a more personalized approach. 


You can apply to work 1:1 with me here.

Xenobiotics: The Silent Saboteurs

In our modern world, we are constantly bombarded by a hidden enemy ⸺ xenoestrogens. These are environmental impostors, mimicking estrogen's effects in our bodies, leading to health issues, and even cancer. Often, they are also called EDC’s (endocrine disrupting chemicals), because they basically scramble the signals from our own hormones.

Where are Xenoestrogens found?

Xenoestrogens are stealthy substances hiding in everyday products. From the plastic containers we use to store our food to the cosmetics we apply to our skin, and the pesticides on our fruits and vegetables ⸺ they're everywhere. They sneak into our lives, disrupt our hormonal balance, and silently wreak havoc on our well-being, while your doctor may be blaming it on other factors.


Emerging research, including studies such as “The effective free fraction of estradiol and xenoestrogens in human serum … ”, and also this recent study in the esteemed  International Journal of Molecular Sciences from 2021, highlights the potential dangers of xenoestrogens and their impact on hormone-related cancers. This research emphasizes the significance of avoiding these substances.


As scary as these substances are and how they may play a role in cancers, like prostate cancer in men, there are some things you can do right now to lower your risk.

Avoiding Xenoestrogens: Your Path to Wellness

Let’s face it. We live in a toxic world, where the U.S.D.A. and F.D.A. do not protect us from the potential exposures that could have negative effects on our health. So, instead, you’ve got to get used to reading labels. Understanding how to read a label is the difference between unknowingly using a skin lotion, shampoo or sunscreen that will end up dousing you with a healthy dose of xenoestrogens and living a toxin-free life.


The problem is that any cancer like prostate cancer can take years to develop. So, you may say, “I use these products all of the time, and I’m fine. Why should I care?” Well, I have over 200,000 yearly reasons for you to care (that’s the number of new prostate cancers diagnosed yearly in men). The choices you make today are an investment into your future health. 


Now, let's talk about fragrance-free products for a moment. You might wonder, what's so special about them? Well, these products can be a real game-changer in your quest to avoid xenoestrogens. By opting for fragrance-free alternatives, you're not just sparing yourself from potential exposure to phthalates, but you're also choosing products that are gentle on your skin. It's a win-win situation that can make a significant difference in your overall well-being.


Stay away from:

  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Fragrance
  • Natural fragrance
  • Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone
  • Octinoxate

Everyday Products to Avoid

Here's a list of products you should consider swapping out for healthier alternatives:

  • Plastic Containers: Say goodbye to plastic and embrace glass or stainless steel for food storage.


  • Cosmetic and Skincare Products: Choose brands that proudly offer options free of phthalates, parabens, and fragrances.


  • Organic Produce: Opt for organic fruits and vegetables to reduce pesticide exposure.


  • Fragrance-Free Products: Opt for fragrance-free options to eliminate phthalates from your daily routine.


Now, as I like to tell, these steps are not just about avoiding chemicals. 


They're about taking control of your health and well-being. 


And it all starts by taking care of your gut and the balance of your gut microbiome.

Paraben free, Phthalate Free, Fragrance Free

A Journey Through Research

Intrigued by the intricate connection between gut bacteria, estrogen dominance, and prostate cancer? You're not alone. Researchers have been delving into this fascinating area, and the findings are quite enlightening. 


For instance, a study published in the BMC Microbiology in 2017 revealed that dietary patterns can significantly impact the composition of the gut microbiome. This microbial community, residing within your digestive system, plays a vital role in maintaining overall health. What's fascinating is that these tiny residents can influence the balance of hormones in your body, particularly estrogen levels. This shines a light on the profound connection between your dietary choices, the health of your gut, and the intricate balance of hormones.


But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Another study published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, provides even more profound insights into this complex interplay. This research looked at the intricate world of gut bacteria and their role in manipulating the levels of estrogens within our bodies. It's like a symphony conducted by the gut microbiome, influencing the hormonal harmony in your body. What's at stake? Well, it's not just about what you eat; it's about acknowledging the profound impact of the microscopic world within you.


These studies underscore the importance of maintaining a balanced gut microbiome, as it has far-reaching implications, not only for hormone balance but also for your overall health and, potentially, for men ⸺ the risk of conditions like prostate cancer. 


So, every bite you take matters, not just for your taste buds, but for the intricate dance of hormones and health deep within.

Unlocking the Power of Knowledge

I can’t begin to tell you how important this topic is for both men and women. The solutions for both are the same. Eat healthy. Avoid pesticides. Avoid environmental toxins in household products.


The interplay between the gut microbiome, estrogen dominance, and prostate cancer is not just a scientific curiosity; it's a real-life issue that can impact your health and well-being. 


We’re doing something new with this blog post by adding an FAQ section. Remember that knowledge is power, and the more you understand, the better equipped you are to make informed choices for a healthier you.


If you’re a 20-something, 30-something, or 40-something year old male, the time is now to start making small changes that will have a big impact on your health downstream.

Beyond Estrogen Dominance, the Gut Microbiome, and Hormonal Imbalances

This brief journey through the world of gut microbiome, estrogen dominance, and prostate cancer may be ending, but the quest for better health never truly concludes. I hope this has provided enough information to challenge your view of prostate cancer and its connection to the gut. 


Armed with this newfound knowledge, you're better prepared to take control of your well-being. It's not just about avoiding harmful substances but making choices that promote a healthier, happier life. Your health is your most valuable asset, and with the right information and choices, you can nurture it and thrive.


If you need help working to improve your gut health, then I recommend you check out the 28-Day Cleanse Program ⸺ it’s our signature cleanse to help you:

✔️ Balance Hormones

✔️ Restore Energy
✔️ Remove gut irritants and toxins from your body
✔️ Resolve Bloating, Indigestion, and Heartburn / Acid Reflux
✔️ Prevent or turn back the clock on autoimmune disease
✔️ Drastically lower your stress and anxiety levels
✔️ Optimize your focus and mental clarity

The HAPPY GUT® 28-Day Cleanse works on the gut-skin connection, gut-brain connection, gut-energy connection, and
gut-hormone connection, while building the strongest foundation of gut health than any other program on the market.

FAQ

Are xenoestrogens only harmful to men?

Absolutely not! Xenoestrogens can affect both men and women, albeit differently. They're the silent saboteurs of hormonal balance.

Can I completely eliminate xenoestrogens from my life?

While complete elimination might be challenging, making informed choices about the products you use and the food you consume can significantly reduce your exposure.

Is there a link between estrogen dominance and other health issues?

Yes, estrogen dominance is associated with various health problems, including breast cancer, uterine fibroids, gynecomastia (“man boobs”) and hormonal imbalances.

What is the role of the gut microbiome in overall health?

Our gut microbiome is the conductor of our health orchestra. It influences digestion, immunity, hormone balance, and even mental health. Maintaining a healthy gut is crucial for overall well-being.

How often should I see a healthcare professional to monitor my hormone levels?

Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider are advisable, especially if you have concerns about estrogen dominance. They can provide personalized guidance and monitor your hormone levels. If you would like to work 1:1 with me to look into balancing and optimizing your hormone levels, enter the link below.

If you would like to work 1:1 with me to look into balancing and optimizing your hormone levels, click here to apply.

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