What Is Butyrate and What Are Its Health Benefits?
Butyrate is a type of fatty acid that helps your gut work properly and it’s important for gut-related diseases from autoimmune diseases to obesity to colon cancer. Here I will give you a breakdown of what it does, and how to make sure you’re getting enough of it.
What Is Butyrate?
Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA). And fatty acids are the building blocks of fats that our cells need to function. Butyrate is produced when the bacteria living in our guts ferment otherwise indigestible fibers. I’ll recommend grains, beans, onions, bananas, and other foods rich in complex carbs. Butyrate is the preferred energy source for the cells in your colon wall. It is essential for maintaining a healthy barrier between the colon and bloodstream and it prevents inflammation in the gut. 
You can get butyrate from food or supplements, but your gut flora can also make it out of fiber. Healthy gut flora digest food by fermenting it. When they ferment certain types of fiber, they create butyrate. Your digestive system needs butyrate to function properly. Butyrate helps control the growth of the cells lining the gut, to make sure there’s a good balance between old cells dying and new cells being formed.  Did you know that Butyrate could also be an important source of energy for those cells? CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation where we will discuss what works for you.
Health Benefits of Butyrate
To make butyrate, your gut bacteria transform dietary fibers found in whole plant foods. They are called “prebiotics” because they nourish and encourage the health-promoting activities of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome.
Although our bodies produce less butyrate than other short-chain fatty acids, this SCFA has many health benefits. It is needed for your overall gut health, as well as for helping to make energy for some of your gut cells. Plus, it can plug a leaky gut and even help stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Fuels Your Gut Cells
Unlike most other cells in your body which use sugar (glucose) as their main energy source, the cells of the lining of your gut (colonocytes) mainly use butyrate. Without butyrate, these cells would not be able to carry out their functions correctly. Members of the Firmicutes genus, classification of bacteria, are well known for producing butyrate. More specifically, microbes like Roseburia spp., Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, and Eubacterium rectale turn prebiotics like dietary fiber into butyrate. 
This three-way relationship is mutual. Butyrate fuels colonocytes, and in return these cells help provide an oxygen-free environment in which beneficial gut microbes thrive. Would you like to learn how you could keep inflammation in check, gut cells healthy, and gut bacteria happy? CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation where we will discuss this.
- Harness Antioxidant Powers
I’ve talked about free radicals, which are basically waste products from chemical reactions in the body. Antioxidants, on the other hand, are your body’s defense against them. Large numbers of free radicals cause damage and overwhelm the body’s repair systems. I call this oxidative stress.
So, increased butyrate production could improve the barrier function of the colonocytes due to its secondary antioxidant functions. And this can reduce the risk of diseases like bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 
- Prevents Gut Inflammation
Butyrate stops some of the pro-inflammatory substances in your body from working. The anti-inflammatory effect of butyrate reduces oxidative stress and controls the damage caused by free radicals.
So, I can categorically state that diet has a massive effect on both butyrate production as well as gut inflammation. A diet high in fiber is particularly beneficial for butyrate production because it feeds your butyrate-producing bacteria.  Did you know that more butyrate could mean less inflammation? CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation and learn how you could go about this.
- Take Action Against Cancer
Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is a major health burden in the western world and our diet is largely to blame. A diet low in dietary fiber affects the bacteria in your gut. Your colonocytes need butyrate for energy, and if they have no energy, they can’t work.
If the cells lining your gut are unable to work, cells associated with tumor progression can thrive. These give off inflammatory signals and lead to tumor development. So, low dietary fiber means reduced butyrate production and is a risk factor for bowel cancer.
Butyrate is also a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Histone deacetylase is an enzyme produced in most cancers. Because butyrate is an inhibitor, it causes cells to, in effect, commit suicide, a process known as apoptosis. So, it can stop cancer cells from developing altogether. 
- Plug A Leaky Gut
The gut lining is an intestinal barrier. It selectively allows things like vitamins and minerals to leave the gut, enter the bloodstream, and travel to where they’re needed. Equally, it stops toxins, pathogens, and food compounds from entering the bloodstream and making you ill. 
Did you know that butyrate produced by your gut microbes from dietary fiber provides the fuel needed by the cells in your gut lining? CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation and learn how this could preserve the integrity of your gut lining and prevent leaky gut from occurring.
- Combat Obesity and Diabetes
Insulin is released from the pancreas when your blood sugar levels rise. On the flip side, this organ releases glucagon when insulin levels (and blood sugar levels) in the bloodstream are too low, so the liver can send glucose into the bloodstream.
Together, these hormones work to keep your blood sugar levels stable. When blood sugar is too high, insulin tells the body’s muscle and fat cells to take in this excess glucose, which is why these hormones are important for obesity and diabetes. 
Increased production of short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate in the colon, increases the release of these gut hormones, indicating potential benefits for managing blood sugar levels and preventing weight gain.
- Protect Your Brain
Butyrate, produced by the bacteria in your colon, has a range of biological functions. These functions are also associated with neuroprotective effects (that benefit your brain and nervous system).
Boosting your butyrate production through your diet is easy and low risk. One day it may even be a potential treatment option for brain diseases.  Do you know increasing your butyrate production right now can benefit your health in many ways? CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation and learn how you could get a sufficient source of butyrate.
- Boost Butyrate with Fiber
A high fiber diet can boost butyrate production because it encourages the butyrate-producing bacteria in your colon to thrive. Prebiotics are foods that directly nourish your microbiome and they include vegetables, fruit, pulses, and whole grains. They contain dietary fiber that is fermented by your gut bacteria into organic compounds like butyrate.
Diets that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates can disrupt butyrate production. Your gut bacteria feed on fiber, not animal protein. So, the best way to optimize your butyrate production is through a high-fiber diet. 
Butyrate is really just one more entry on the long, long list of things your gut flora does for you. It’s got some powerful anti-inflammatory effects that translate into protection against colon cancer, gut disorders like IBD, and autoimmune disease, and possibly also obesity. To get butyrate from foods, I’ll advise you to eat butter, or eat a lot of vegetables for the fiber, or double up for the most delicious route: a big pile of vegetables slathered in plenty of butter.
I’m not suggesting that you should eat all these foods to get a sufficient source of butyrate, but you should select options based on your preference. If you would like to discuss your unique case, don’t hesitate to CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation where we would discuss your unique needs.
Take the Next Step and Schedule Today
Are you getting a sufficient source of butyrate in your system? You could take charge of your health today with a FREE 20-minute phone consultation. We will identify the key areas that need support and give the necessary support to show what needs to be done uniquely for your case. Please CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation if you or your loved ones want to learn more about butyrate.
Chen Ben Asher will give you her best care recommendations based on what’s happening inside your body on a cellular level, in a bid to achieve optimum results. Be rest assured that no stone will be left unturned as we look for the root cause!