Compositional and functional features of the female premenopausal and postmenopausal gut microbiota

FEBS Lett. 2019 Sep;593(18):2655-2664. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.13527. Epub 2019 Jul 17.


Endogenous estrogen deficiency accelerates many diseases in postmenopausal women, and gut microbes contribute to estrogen level modulation. However, the compositional alterations and influences of the gut microbiota in postmenopausal women remain uncertain. A metagenome-wide association study was performed to compare the gut microbiota of 24 premenopausal and 24 postmenopausal women. Firmicutes and Roseburia spp. are depleted, while Bacteroidetes and the toluene-producing genus Tolumonas are overrepresented in fecal samples from postmenopausal women. The pentose phosphate pathway is enriched in premenopausal women. Homocysteine synthesis-related processes are enriched in postmenopausal women. The gut microbiomes of premenopausal and postmenopausal women differ and produce different metabolites. The gut microbiome may be a therapeutic target to reduce risks and improve the quality of life in postmenopausal women.

Keywords: antioxidant capacity; gut metabolic modules; gut microbiome diversity; postmenopausal diseases; shotgun metagenomic sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Postmenopause*
  • Premenopause*
  • Quality of Life