The Importance of Gut Health and Why Males and Females Have Different Microbiomes

1st July 2022

It is common to find that although you and your partner have similar eating, sleeping routines, and sometimes coffee or caffeine habits. Your digestion and general gut movement could be very different. One of you could be bloated and your partner could be absolutely fine. Science has started to indicate that your gender can determine how your gut is working. 

This blog is going to explore a recent interview with Dr Laura Freeman, from ‘The Gut Stuff’ and how she has found sex-related differences that affect gut health. 

Dr Laura Freeman, illustrates there are “different variations” within men’s and women’s gut microbiomes. Our microbiomes interconnect with our sex hormones and immune systems, this process is called microgenderome.

Dr Freeman, mentions how there are “significant differences in how some diseases affect women more than men and vice versa”.

A few examples of diseases that women are more prone to have:

  • IBS – irritable bowel syndrome
  • Autoimmune diseases – such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome

Dr Freeman explains how men and women may have similar lifestyles and diets, but they will demonstrate different responses due to their sex. As mentioned earlier, this is because of how the gut microbiomes interact with the person’s sex hormones. 

Potential Reasons Why?

Women are known to mature faster than men, this is also illustrated through the gut processes. A Female’s microbiome relates to this by appearing much earlier than male microbiome. From further research, it has also been found that within children, the female brain develops brain connections earlier. In turn, suggesting brain and gut communication development has a part to play within the speed of maturity of our biome. However, this is an early finding and more research is needed to confirm this.

This has been known to be called “the gender health gap”, and in the past months, it has become a popular topic of interest in society. 


In a recent study conducted by Nature, it has been found that our guts are affected by the medication we take. Men and women are likely to take different types of medicines, relating to their genders. For example, women are more likely to have an oral contraceptive. Further, changing our gut patterns.

Dr Freeman highlights that there is a large amount of research to do to understand microbiomes further. With hope of trying to now understand different social constructs of how non-binary people’s microbiota is affected. Therefore, opening up new research suggestions for the gut and microbiome. This research could help us, as a community, make our guts healthier and happier.

If you want some more information on how to improve digestion or gut health, click the link to visit more of our blogs.