Butyrate supplements have become very popular these days and for a good reason. Clinical research studies suggest that butyrate may provide many health benefits. But not all butyric supplements are created equal.
If you’re unsure about butyrate supplementation, this comprehensive guide is for you. It should answer all your questions -- and then some!
What Exactly IS Butyrate?
Butyrate, also called butyric acid, is a postbiotic metabolite clinically shown to promote health. It is one of three primary short-chain fatty acids (SCFA's) created naturally through bacterial fermentation in the large intestine (colon).
It works like this: When beneficial bacteria eat, aka ferment, resistant starch (fiber) in the lower colon, they excrete short-chain fatty acids and other postbiotic metabolites. (Bacterial fermentation in the colon is what causes the gas you experience after eating a lot of fiber.)
Short-Chain Fatty Acids
There is abundant scientific evidence that short-chain fatty acids play an essential role in health and disease prevention. (1)
The three primary short-chain fatty acids are butyrate, acetate, and propionate.
Each one has a unique impact on your health. For example, butyrate is the main energy source for colon cells, propionate contributes to glucogenesis in the liver, and acetate boasts the highest system concentrations in blood. (2) This translates into vastly different effects on your health.
However, Harvard doctors call butyrate the "optimal" short-chain fatty acid because it is more "potent" and provides more health benefits than acetate and propionate. (3)
Given its health benefits, you might assume the body produces a large amount of butyrate. But that's not the case. It turns out, butyrate is the least abundant SCFA produced in humans. (4) Here is the estimated percentage of SCFAs produced in the body: (5)
But this is where its potency comes in. Though only 15% of butyrate is produced, it provides an estimated 60% to 70% of the colon’s energy requirements of epithelial cells. (6) This is one of the reasons butyrate can defend against colorectal cancer.
How Does Butyrate Support Health?
The gastrointestinal tract, or gut, is home to approximately 100 trillion microorganisms that help break down food, extract nutrients, make vitamins, and perform other digestion-related functions.
But the microbiome's effects aren't limited to just the gut. It also plays a role in health. After all, an estimated 75% of immune cells are located in the gut.
But how does it get outside the digestive system to affect general health?
Research suggests gut bacteria communicate with the brain through the Vagus nerve. The longest nerve in the human body, the Vagus nerve is primarily part of the parasympathetic nervous system and runs from the brain stem through the neck, chest, and abdomen.
Its branches join most organ systems, helping it regulate such functions as heartbeat, blood pressure, mood, and digestion.
The Vagus nerve sends and receives information from the brain to the organs and tissues, including the state of our gut. How?
A web of neurons lining the gastrointestinal system called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) communicates bidirectionally with the Vagus nerve.
Though butyrate is not a microbe, as a microbial metabolite, it affects overall health by working through the gut-brain access. Butyrate can also cross the blood-brain barrier, thus influencing mood, cognitive function, and metabolism, to name just a few. (6a)
6 Health Benefits of Butyrate
The health benefits of butyrate are many. Here are just a few of them.
Defends Against Colon Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women. (7) the number of new cases diagnosed in the U.S. in 2021 was 104,270 for colon cancer and 45,230 for rectal cancer. (8)
It is also the second most common cancer death in the U.S. (9)
Fortunately, numerous studies show that butyrate may protect against colorectal cancer. Through a process called the Warburg effect, butyrate accumulates in cells, reducing inflammation and inhibiting tumor cell progression.
(10) Butyrate has also been shown to activate GPCRs in cancer cells, causing them to die off. (11)
High-fiber diets have long been associated with reduced risks of colon cancer, which begs the question: is it the fiber or the butyrate?
Science has the answer.
Recent research suggests that dietary fiber’s protective effect on colorectal cancer depends on butyrate production by the microbiota. (12) Thus, it’s not the fiber that defends against colon cancer. It's the butyrate that the fiber helps to produce in your gut!
Improves Gut Health
Gut health is critical today and is something with which many people struggle. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an estimated 60 to 70 million people in the United States are affected by one or more digestive diseases. (13)
The symptoms of digestive diseases can be distressing and even disabling. Fortunately, butyrate may help relieve the suffering.
For example, clinical research studies show that butyrate reduces gut inflammation by regulating the immune response. This can potentially help you recover from leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and bowel cancer. (15)
Butyrate's role as an intestinal anti-inflammatory is confirmed by multiple research studies, showing that it reduces pro-inflammatory substances, inhibits histone deacetylation, and reduces intestinal inflammatory parameters. (16, 17, 18)
Other studies show that butyrate may help prevent certain types of diarrhea and help treat gastrointestinal infections. (19, 20)
Butyrate may even help prevent or treat leaky gut.
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut is a common issue today, and it starts with your gut barrier.
Your intestinal cells (gut membrane) act as an essential line of defense, a gut barrier that stops toxins from seeping through into your body (while still letting food and nutrients through!)
This makes your gut membrane what scientists call “semi-permeable.” This means that certain junctions or gates in this membrane allow substances — but only certain substances — to come in and out.
If these “gates” are weak, then the gut membrane becomes more permeable, potentially letting more harmful substances through into your body. This condition is called a “leaky gut.”
Through a few mechanisms, but mainly through its role in ATP production, butyrate has been shown to repair and enhance the barrier function of intestinal cells. It makes sure your cells have what they need to keep the “gates” functioning perfectly. (21)
Improves Brain Function
Proper brain function is crucial to your health and happiness. After all, the brain powers everything in your body. Therefore, if the neurons are not firing correctly due to improper nutrition, brain inflammation, and other issues, it can negatively affect your entire body.
Here again, butyrate may help.
Multiple research studies suggest that butyrate is essential for healthy brain function.
For example, butyrate has been shown to stimulate nerve growth in the brain, especially after a stroke. Studies also show that butyrate may boost cognitive function, both in neurotypical people and in those (including children) with autism. (22, 23, 24)
Additionally, mouse studies have shown that butyrate (probably via its HDAC effects) can aid learning and memory after traumatic brain injury. This may, eventually, make butyrate a helpful treatment following car accidents or sports injuries. (25)
Scientific evidence also shows that butyrate may reduce your risk of neurodegenerative diseases due to its anti-inflammatory effects! (26) (Examples of neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's.
Stabilizes Mood and Helps Anxiety and Depression
Mood disorders are a huge issue today.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression, a condition that can be crippling. (27)
Meanwhile, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting nearly 1 in 5 adults (18%) in any given year. (28)
There are many treatments for depression and anxiety, including medication and therapy, that have proven helpful. In addition, increasing your butyrate levels, either through eating more fiber or through butyrate supplementation, may also be effective.
For example, probiotics and a fiber-rich diet that promoted butyrate production produced better mood outcomes in rat studies and healthy human volunteers.
In conditions related to anxiety and depression (such as chronic fatigue syndrome), butyrate was also helpful at easing symptoms. Again, this was found both in human and animal studies. (29)
The exact mechanism that butyrate uses to improve mood is not clear. However, many of these studies show a link between gut inflammation and mental health. (30)
But how can gut inflammation cause depression and anxiety?
As previously mentioned, the gut can “talk” to the brain via the vagus nerve. With chronic inflammation, the vagus nerve signals this disease state to the brain, triggering anxiety and depression symptoms.
Helps to Boost Your Immune System
Research reveals many ways that butyrate boosts your immune system.
For example, butyrate has been shown to calm your immune system by down-regulating your T cells, helping them become less reactive. (31)
Butyrate also affects other parts of your immune system are also affected. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, dendritic cells, and macrophages are all told to stop their attacks on your suffering gut wall, for example, giving your gut a chance to repair itself. (32)
This translates into a strengthened immune system.
Promotes Weight Loss and Sustaining a Healthy Weight
Obesity has become a public health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 73.6% of adults over 20 are overweight or obese. (33)
This is not a harmless state, as it can lead to type 2 diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver disease, heart disease, and other serious conditions.
Despite the massive growth of the diet and exercise industry, obesity rates continue to climb. It is clear that we need a different approach, and butyrate may be a partial answer.
Indeed, the evidence that butyrate may aid weight management is impressive.
How? Well, insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels are critical features of overweight and obesity. But guess what? Butyrate may be able to modulate these risk factors.
When researchers added sodium butyrate to the diet of mice, they discovered that it seemed to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce adiposity (body fat). They also noticed that it helped them maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and obesity. (34, 35)
Incidentally, this study showed that butyrate improved, compared to control: (36)
In another preclinical study, butyrate increased satiety, reduced food intake, and defended against obesity and insulin resistance. (37)
And finally, butyrate has various beneficial metabolic effects, such as improving thermogenesis and energy expenditure, thus reducing body weight. (38)
This is precisely the response you need for weight loss and weight management!
Butyrate is derived from butyrum, the Latin word for butter. So, of course, you can get some butyrate from eating butter and ghee. Raw milk, certain animal fats, and some plant oils also contain trace amounts of butyrate. But it's almost impossible to get the amount you need by eating butyrate foods alone.
The best way to get this nutrient into your lower colon, where it's needed to produce all those health benefits, is by eating a variety of resistant starches. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber that beneficial gut bacteria love to transform into butyrate.
Butyrate supplementation is another great way to get an optimal amount of butyrate into your lower colon, especially if you are unable or unwilling to consume a high-fiber diet.
Butyrate Supplementation Vs. Increasing Fiber Intake
Vegetables, whole grains, beans, and other fiber foods contain vitamins, minerals, and roughage that are good for your health.
However, there IS a downside to significantly increasing your fiber intake.
Namely, overeating fiber can create loud and stinky gas, bloating, indigestion, stomach pain, and other signs of digestive distress. It can also lead to loose stools and diarrhea.
Butyrate supplementation has none of these side effects because it bypasses intestinal fermentation and goes directly to her lower colon. But to reap all the digestive and health benefits, you must purchase the correct type of butyrate supplement—more about that a little later.
Types of Supplemental Butyrate
There are several types of supplemental butyrate. First, you should know that you'll rarely find a supplement containing just butyrate. That's because butyrate is what's called an "unstable molecule" that is destroyed by the digestive process long before it gets to your lower colon. Butyrate by itself also smells and tastes terrible!
Consequently, manufacturers added compounds to stabilize it. So, keep that in mind as we discuss the different types and forms of supplemental butyrate.
Butyrate Acid Supplements
As previously mentioned, butyric acid is found in butter, ghee, and other foods. Your body also makes it through intestinal fermentation. To stabilize butyrate, supplement manufacturers typically add certain compounds to it. Thus, butyric acid supplements usually contain sodium or other compounds. They are also often time-released to ensure they make it to your lower colon intact.
You can usually find butyrate acid supplements online or in health foods stores. However, as butyrate supplements are becoming more popular, supermarkets are even starting to carry them! These supplements are typically found in capsule or tablet form.
Sodium Butyrate Supplements
Sodium butyrate supplements are created by combining sodium with butyrate. This stabilizes butyrate, enabling it to reach your colon where it's needed to provide all those health benefits listed above.
Sodium butyrate is highly effective at boosting gut health and promoting healthy bacterial growth.
This makes it an essential form to use in a gut health supplement. However, sodium butyrate supplements are not well-absorbed by the body. Research suggests that only about 6% of orally ingested sodium butyrate ever get to the bloodstream.
The best way to ensure butyrate supplements reaches your bloodstream and your colon is to purchase a TRIButyrate supplement.
A TRIButyrate supplement is created by combining one glycerol molecule with three butyrate molecules. It is the superior bioavailable form, allowing the unstable molecules to reach the lower colon where they're needed to provide those amazing health benefits mentioned earlier.
This is by far the best type of butyrate supplement to take.
Enteric Coated Butyrate Supplements
This type of supplement is coated with a substance that protects it from intestinal and stomach acids to pass safely to the designated location in the body.
Enteric coating is a type of delayed-release technology that is recommended for butyrate supplementation.
Butyrate Powder Supplements
Butyrate powder supplements are simply the powdered or granulated form of butyrate, along with the compounds that help stabilize it.
You may purchase it either in powdered or capsule form.
Butyrate and Propionate Supplements
Though propionate provides health benefits as well, it's not nearly as popular as butyrate. For that reason, you'll seldom find propionate supplements for sale. Therefore, the best way to get propionate is by eating fiber foods like vegetables and whole grains.
Do Butyrate Supplements Work?
Multiple research studies show that butyrate supplements work. After all, researchers rarely use naturally produced butyrate, aka the kind created from bacterial fermentation in the large intestine, in their studies. Instead, they give their research subjects supplemental butyrate.
In their review of literature/studies on butyrate supplementation, researchers noted:
" Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that butyrate plays a vital role in modulating immune and inflammatory responses and intestinal barrier function. (39)
"Although butyrate is well known to exert a plethora of beneficial effects on the intestinal tract, growing evidence points to the impact of butyrate on the brain via the gut-brain axis. For example, changes in butyrate-producing bacteria can modulate the peripheral and central nervous systems and brain functions, reinforcing the notion for the existence of the microbiota-gut-brain axis." (40)
Benefits of Butyrate Supplements
The health benefits of butyrate supplements are the same as those listed earlier for butyrate.
To summarize, numerous research suggests that butyrate supplements may help:
-Balance the gut microbiota
-Support the gut microbiome
-Increase insulin sensitivity
-Improve gut health
-Prevent or repair leaky gut
-Support healthy brain function
-Ease anxiety and depression
-And much more.
Another benefit of supplemental butyrate is that it can help increase levels of butyrate in your lower colon. This is especially useful if you don't eat much fiber or butyrate foods.
Are Butyrate Supplements Safe?
Butyrate supplements are safe when taken as directed. However, since it is sold as a dietary supplement, it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Are Butyrate Supplements Effective?
Yes, numerous research studies show that butyrate effectively supports mental, physical, and emotional health. It also has a positive effect on gut health and can prevent or treat many conditions.
Side Effects of Butyrate Supplements
There are no known butyrate supplement side effects, but there are a host of positive ones. For instance, you may notice a reduction in digestive upsets, better cognitive performance, boosted immunity, and much more. These are the BEST side effects to experience!
Should I Take Butyrate Supplements?
Taking supplemental butyrate is a great way to support your digestive system and overall health, especially if you have a deficiency of this nutrient. But, how do you know if you have a shortage?
Well, you may suffer bloating, gas, and other digestive issues. Or, you may suffer brain fog, memory issues, or have trouble focusing. And how about that stubborn body fat you've not been able to lose despite how little you eat or how much you exercise? Yep, that can be a sign of low butyrate levels, too.
But maybe the best way to know if you have a butyrate deficiency is this: are you eating approximately 37 grams of dietary fiber each day?
If not, you have a shortage because the good bacteria in your lower colon do not have enough fiber to produce an optimal amount of butyrate. So you’ll need to load up on dietary fiber and suffer excessive gas and bloating or start taking butyrate supplements.
How to Take Butyrate Supplements
Usage instructions vary depending on the brand. For best results, always follow usage instructions on the label.
Who Sells Butyrate Supplements?
You can often find butyrate supplements in health foods stores or online, i.e., Amazon, Walmart, etc. But the BEST place to order it is SANESolution.
Best Butyrate Supplements
Though many places sell butyrate, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're high quality. Remember, you need a brand that will deliver butyrate directly to your lower colon. When this powerful substance is delivered directly to the lower colon, it provides gut-healing benefits unlike any other substance on the planet.
(There’s a reason top doctors at Harvard call it the “optimal” Short-Chain Fatty Acid!)
After years of research and one patented breakthrough later, top medical scientists created a game-changer in gut health.
Combining 3 Butyrate molecules with a glycerol molecule created a radically more effective version of this “optimal” Short-Chain Fatty Acid: TRIButyrate®.
TRIbutyrate® is three times more potent than the weak short-chain fatty acids created by fiber alone. And this is why TRIbutyrate is the main ingredient in the new, one-of-a-kind gut health breakthrough:
Viscera-3™ is a unique patented multifactor formula with ingredients that target the leak in your gut, helping to fix the problem at its source!
Together, this unique formulation works to:
Patch up “leaks” in your gut, so poops come out fresh, solid, and painless
Boost the amount of time it takes for your body to digest food and pass through your bowels.
Allow your body to pass stools without straining or painful pushing.
Promote healthy gut bacteria and help to remove toxins from your gut, and put an end to bloating and embarrassing gas.
So, what are you waiting for? Order Viscera-3™ today!
Butyrate Supplements Reviews (SANE Viscera-3™)
Our butyrate supplement Viscera-3™ has had over 2,000 five-star customer reviews! Here are just a few of them.
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