If you are looking for more information on how butyrate can support gut health, then you’re not alone. The beneficial effects of this short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) on maintaining gastrointestinal stability and energy metabolism have made it the subject of significant interest among practitioners, patients, and researchers alike.* The growing evidence of butyrate’s beneficial effect on the gut-brain axis further highlights its immense potential.
Here’s what you need to know about this remarkably versatile molecule for promoting gut health and overall well-being, too.*
Butyrate is also known as butanoic acid, and butyric acid.. This fatty acid is produced in the intestinal tract by microbial fermentation of undigested dietary carbohydrates—in other words, breaking down fiber.
Butyric acid, along with acetic acid (found in vinegar) and propionic acid, make up 90-95 percent of the SCFAs in the human gut. Although it is the least abundant SCFA produced, butyrate is the main energy source for our colon cells (colonocytes), as it contributes up to 60-70 percent of their energy requirements.* As the primary metabolic regulator for energy in those cells, butyrate yields therapeutic effects for functions both inside the intestinal tract and out.*
Butyrate provides beneficial effects for several distinct systems. A growing number of studies have further revealed new results and nutritional support benefits of butyrate on a wide range of health functions.* The table below lists several examples in which butyrate plays an important role in benefiting the gastrointestinal environment and overall health.*
|Beneficial Effects of Butyrate|
|Metabolic Regulation||Butyrate stimulates the colon to absorb sodium chloride (NaCl), guarding against symptoms of dehydration.*|
|Cell Regulation||Butyrate regulates the cell cycle — i.e., growth and division — by inducing changes in gene expression associated with multiple signaling pathways.*|
|Intestinal-Barrier Function||Butyrate stimulates the MUC2 gene to produce mucin — the glycoproteins (mucus) produced by colonocytes, that acts as a protective internal coating.*|
|Oxidative Stress||Pre-clinical studies1 have shown that butyrate modulates oxidative stress in the colonic mucosa — the glands and connective tissue that cover the inside of the colon.*|
|Immune Regulation||Butyrate can influence immune responses in intestinal mucosa by modulating the migration of immune cells, their adhesion, and cellular functions.*|
|Intestinal Motility||Butyrate has been reported to enhance colonic motility — the peristaltic motion of the intestine that keeps you “regular.”*|
Beyond the gastrointestinal environment, butyrate has been found to display a range of benefits, like maintaining equilibrium through the gut-brain axis, which highlights its potential for addressing various health-related issues.
You’ve probably heard that including fiber in your diet helps your digestion, sometimes communicated as “Eat more roughage.” The presence of undigested dietary fiber in the intestine is closely associated with the gut’s production of butyrate. Dietary fiber (“roughage”) refers to the edible plant parts resistant to digestion or absorption in the small intestine.
These resistant dietary carbohydrates — made up of non-starch polysaccharides, non-digestible oligosaccharides, and resistant starch — are fermented into SCFAs by bacteria in the large intestine. Any remaining dietary fiber not broken down by bacteria travels intact to the colon and adds bulk and weight to stool, making it easier to pass.
Let’s look at some food sources that add fiber to your diet and enhance butyrate production in the gut.
Beans, lentils, soybeans, and peas are all good sources of fermentable fiber. Dried legumes contain 20-30 percent resistant starch and also contain a high amount of galactooligosaccharides (GOS) – prebiotics made of plant sugars.
Whole grains, partially milled grains, cooked and cooled rice, and brans from cereals like wheat, rye, and oats are good sources of resistant starch. Studies report that consuming whole-grain cereals or brans can reduce intestinal transit time and accelerate the body’s production of butyrate from fiber.
Apples, unripe bananas, plantains, apricots, kiwis, pears, blueberries, and raspberries contain fermentable fibers for butyrate production. Cooked and cooled potatoes are another great source of resistant starch. Red and green cabbages, leeks, garlic, broccoli, scallions, white onions, and kale all contain high levels of oligosaccharides.
The coatings of nuts and edible seeds are another food source rich in resistant starch. Almonds are a good source of fiber, providing about three grams per ounce. Other seeds, like pistachios, sunflower kernels, and chia also add fiber to your diet.
Moderate servings of full-fat dairy products, like cheese and butter, also help with butyrate production in the intestine.
A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of these butyrate-rich food sources supports the intestinal ecosystem. The USDA recommends 38 grams of dietary fiber daily for men and 25 grams daily for women.
So, if a fiber-rich diet helps with butyrate production, then why do you need a butyrate supplement to support your gut health?*
In such situations, butyrate supplementation offers a suitable alternative to dietary intake. The conventional method to increase butyrate supplementation is through oral ingestion of butyrate mineral salts or via a sodium butyrate enema.
When considering an oral butyrate supplement, you might wonder whether it really works. Although several animal studies have established the beneficial effects of butyrate supplementation in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome,* let’s look at these benefits more closely.
Although research studies are inconclusive about the optimal intake of butyrate supplementation, 150 - 300 mg/day is usually the suggested amount for a butyrate supplement. Even in significantly higher amounts, clinical evidence2 indicates good tolerance of oral butyrate with no adverse reactions or side effects. Let’s look at how a butyrate supplement benefits you, compared to the oral intake of raw butyric acid.
|Comparison: Raw Butyric Acid vs. Butyrate Supplement|
|Raw Butyric Acid||Butyrate Supplement|
|Palatability||Raw butyric acid has a highly pungent odor and acrid taste, making it difficult to tolerate.|
(i.e., It’s stinky and it tastes bad.)
|Advanced supplement formulations make butyrate more palatable, resulting in patient compliance.|
(i.e., Not horrible.)
|Absorption||Raw butyric acid is quickly absorbed in the upper part of the GI tract, reducing its beneficial effects lower down in the colon.|
|Encapsulated butyrate supplements have the capability to address the utility limitation of raw butyric acid if they are property designed and formulated to enhance both absorption and release timing.|
These key butyrate supplement benefits make this short-chain fatty acid a reality for maintaining optimal gut health.*
Determining the right butyrate supplement can be challenging while analyzing the various products available on the market. The efficacy of a butyrate supplement depends on:
ProButyrate® — a hypoallergenic butyrate formulation developed by Tesseract Medical Research uses a revolutionary delivery system that enhances the bioavailability and palatability of butyrate molecules.
The proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery technology enables the delivery of butyrate molecules through the gastrointestinal tract — one palatable molecule at a time. CyLoc® technology encases each butyrate molecule and creates nano-sized particles, thereby masking its unpalatable taste and smell, and protecting it from breaking down during transit through the stomach. DexKey® technology accompanies each CyLoc® molecule and releases it at the desired point in the intestinal tract for maximum absorption and effectiveness.
This unprecedented absorption of butyrate molecules in the gastrointestinal tract enables micro-dosing — using a lower amount of the active ingredient in the ProButyrate® formulation to achieve and help maintain a healthy inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract.* With ProButyrate®, you can take control of your gut health and introduce butyrate supplementation in your diet with ease.*
Tesseract Medical Research is committed to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). We utilize the most appropriate and scientifically-advanced analytical techniques, along with a well-designed quality control system to develop the finest quality nutritional supplements.
Tesseract Medical Research is a pioneer in developing advanced supplement formulations with unprecedented absorption of active ingredients. Visit our website to learn more about butyrate supplement benefits and how our products support various health functions.
1Hamer HM, Jonkers DM, Bast A, et al. Clinical Nutrition 2009 Feb;28(1):88-93. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2008.11.002. Epub 2008 Dec 23. PMID: 19108937.
2Banasiewicz T, Domagalska D, Borycka-Kiciak K, Rydzewska G. Prz Gastroenterology 2020;15(2):119-125. doi: 10.5114/pg.2020.95556. Epub 2020 Jun 8. PMID: 32550943; PMCID: PMC7294979.