J Neurogastroenterol Motil  https://doi.org/10.5056/jnm20208
Roles of Sex Hormones and Gender in the Gut Microbiota
Kichul Yoon1 and Nayoung Kim2,3*
1Department of Internal Medicine, Wonkwang University Sanbon Medical Center, Gunpo, Gyeonggi-do, Korea; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, Korea; and 3Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Department of Gastroenterology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Nayoung Kim, MD, PhD
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 82, Gumi-ro 173 beon-gil, Bundang-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do 13620, Korea
Tel: +82-31-787-7008, Fax: +82-31-787-4051, E-mail: nayoungkim49@empas.com
Received: September 14, 2020; Revised: February 16, 2021; Accepted: March 8, 2021; Published online: March 25, 2021
© The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. All rights reserved.

The distribution of gut microbiota varies according to age (childhood, puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and old age) and sex. Gut microbiota are known to contribute to gastrointestinal (GI) diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer; however, the exact etiology remains elusive. Recently, sex and gender differences in GI diseases and their relation to gut microbiota has been suggested. Furthermore, the metabolism of estrogen and androgen was reported to be related to the gut microbiome. As gut microbiome is involved in the excretion and circulation process of sex hormones, the concept of “microgenderome” indicating the role of sex hormone on the gut microbiota has been suggested. However, further research is needed for this concept to be universally accepted. In this review, we summarize sex- and gender-differences in gut microbiota and the interplay of microbiota and GI diseases, focusing on sex hormones. We also describe the metabolic role of the microbiota in this regard. Finally, current subjects, such as medication including probiotics, are briefly discussed.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal diseases; Gender; Gut; Microbiota; Sex

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