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The butyric acid smell is unpleasant, as a man holds up a capsule and winces at it.

Masking the Unpleasant Taste of Butyric Acid

Article Summary:

  • The unpleasant odor and taste make butyric acid supplements difficult to ingest orally.
  • Butyric acid molecules are quickly absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract, which limits their clinical utility. 
  • Microencapsulated butyric acid molecules are significantly more palatable and more absorbable.  

If you’ve ever smelled rancid butter or parmesan cheese, or worse, vomit, then you know the distinctively unpleasant smell of butyric acid. Naturally found in milk, butter, and parmesan cheese, and as an anaerobic fermentation product in the human gut, butyric acid stinks. Its name derives from the Latin word for butter, butyrum, because it was first extracted from rancid butter. Although butyric acid smells terrible, it plays a critical and beneficial role in maintaining gut health and is widely used as a dietary supplement.* 

Below, we discuss the reason behind the reek of butyric acid, how its smell can make a nutritional supplement unpalatable, and how an advanced nutrient delivery system can mask its unpleasant odor and make a supplement form of butyric acid tolerable.        

Why Does Butyric Acid Smell So Bad?

Let’s take a closer look at butyric acid’s offensive aroma. Chemically, butyric acid is a carboxylic acid. Triglycerides consist of three fatty acid chains linked by a molecule called glycerol. 

Triglyceride structure
Triglyceride structure

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) like butyric acid are attached to this glycerol backbone. During agitation, as with churning butter, an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase releases the SCFA. In this bonded molecular form, the components are relatively bland, but once they start breaking down, they begin releasing more butyric acid with its unmistakable and unpleasant scent. In our large intestine, butyric acid is a by-product of the anaerobic fermentation of undigested dietary fibers.

The off-putting smell makes it difficult for individuals to include butyric acid in their diets as a supplement to support gut health.*    

Butyric Acid Smell — A Key Challenge to Supplement Compliance

The pungent odor and acrid taste of butyric acid make it unpalatable as an oral nutritional supplement. Although clinical studies1 show good tolerance of oral butyric acid, even in significantly high amounts, its smell and taste pose key challenges to individual willingness to take it. Its clinical use is further limited by butyric acid’s quick absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract, which prevents it from reaching the colon before exhibiting its demonstrably positive effects.*       

A Palatable Supplement Formulation of Butyric Acid

ProButyrate® — a Tesseract Medical Research formula that helps stabilize the gut microbiome,* utilizes the unique CyLoc® - DexKey® delivery technology for optimal absorption of butyric acid molecules in the gastrointestinal tract. The revolutionary CyLoc® technology isolates and locks individual butyric acid molecules in their own dextrin fiber carrier to enhance palatability and protect the molecules’ integrity while they travel through the stomach. The DexKey® technology accompanies each CyLoc® molecule and breaks the dextrin fiber cage at the desired release point within the intestinal tract to ensure maximum absorption of butyric acid molecules — one palatable molecule at a time. The palatability and optimized absorption of butyric acid greatly increase compliance with a chosen supplement regimen and help you take control of your gut health.*

Tesseract Medical Research is a pioneer in developing nutritional supplements to support various health functions. Contact us to learn more about supporting your gut functions and overcoming the unpleasant butyric acid smell with an advanced butyric acid formulation.         

Works Cited:

1Banasiewicz T, Domagalska D, Borycka-Kiciak K, Rydzewska G. Prz Gastroenterol. 2020;15(2):119-125. doi: 10.5114/pg.2020.95556. Epub 2020 Jun 8. PMID: 32550943; PMCID: PMC7294979.

Al Czap, Founder | Tesseract

Al Czap has more than four decades of professional experience in preventative medicine. He founded Thorne Research in 1984 (sold in 2010) and he published Alternative Medicine Review for 17 years beginning in 1996. AMR was a highly acclaimed, peer-reviewed, and indexed medical journal. Al was the first to recognize the need for hypoallergenic ingredients and to devise methods of manufacture for and delivery of hypoallergenic products to underserved patient populations. His work has greatly impacted those with impaired immune and digestive systems and compromised health due to environmental exposures.

The advanced formulations based on our revolutionary, patented, and patent-pending technology are only available through Tesseract. No other medical, pharmaceutical, or supplement company is licensed to utilize our proprietary technology.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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