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.
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.
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.*
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.*
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.
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.