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Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that is common in the gut, the role and importance of butyrate in the gut is not fully understood, but Butyrate is created when the good bacteria in your gut break down dietary fiber.
The main benefit of butyrate in the gut is to provide colon cells with energy, Butyrate provides around 70 percent of their energy needs of your colon cells.
A depletion of butyrate in the gut can be caused by a reduction in butyrate producing-bacteria. This tends to lead to microbial dysbiosis. This means a low biodiversity in the gut including a depletion of key butyrate-producing bacteria.
Butyrate is found in foods like butter, but the level is small compared to the amount that’s made in a healthy gut environment.
Butyrate has been shown to be a critical mediator of the colonic inflammatory response, and may have preventive and therapeutic potential to counteract inflammation in the gut.
Some research indicates butyrate supplements could potentially be used as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease. Increasing dietary fiber consumption, (potentially increasing butyrate production in the gut), may lessen the risk of colon cancer.
My experience taking butyrate supplements has been positive. I have noticed better formed stools, less diarrhea, and particularly, less bloating.
Excess bloating and gas due to Crohn’s disease causes me significant discomfort and pain, and in my case I think this is exacerbated by the quite extensive stricturing present. I think the positive benefits I have noticed are likely due to an increase in beneficial bacteria in my GI system (and potentially a corresponding reduction in problematic bacteria, as I’ve definitely noticed this competitive/displacement effect when taking probiotics as well)
I have used Nutricology ButyrAid Tabs, taking as recommended on the product
There is limited clinical evidence on the safety of butyrate but during a human study 300mg per day produced no reported side effects in the subjects. In animal studies, rats given butyrate during pregnancy had offspring with increased insulin resistance and fat accumulation