Conclusion: What We Know, and Where Do We Go from Here
There are differences in the biology, physiology, and disease risks between sex. Chapters 1 and 2 described several examples of these differences that may explain the differences in susceptibility of men and women to diseases, and nutrient requirements for maintainance of health and management of diseases. Sex hormones, which differ between men and women (higher testosterone in men, higher estradiol in women), appear to be a major driving force in determining the characteristics of the
digestive system. This then may affect how the other organs function. In women, the monthly ﬂuctuation in hormones and the special state of pregnancy further modify those characteristics. Clearly there is a need to separately identify the needs of women from those of men and we focused here on the needs of women for optimum health.