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Butter stinks of it but you still need it in your body. What is butyrate and how does it affect your health?

Did you know that butyrate is one of the most important substances for maintaining a healthy intestines? It is its lack that can lead to the occurrence of inflammatory processes. Take a look at how to get it into your body.

Butyrate or a short-chain fatty acid is the most interesting product of bacterial fermentation in the human intestine.

Short-chain fatty acids are organic acids that are formed during the microbial fermentation of undigested food-derived polysaccharides.

These acids are formed essentially in the large intestine.

Compared to other acids, butyrate is the least presented but still it is the main source of energy for intestinal cells and also contributes to maintaining a healthy intestinal mucosa.

What is the role of butyrate?

Butyrate is the primary nutrient that provides energy to intestinal cells and also acts as their mediator. In addition, it has a lot of other remarkable properties that contribute to the health of your body.

For example, it has a direct effect on gene regulation, immunity, cancer suppression, regulation of intestinal barrier function, reduction of oxidative stress and diarrhea as well as modulation of intestinal motility.

Recent studies even speak of its effect on the brain. Changes in butyrate-producing bacteria can affect brain functions and the peripheral and central nervous system.

These findings increasingly support the hypothesis of a relationship between the intestines, microbiome and brain.

Something more will be said about the positive effect of butyrate on health.

Anti-inflammatory effect

The intestinal mucosa is constantly exposed to immunological challenges of risks. If its balance is disturbed, the intestinal cells are subject to inflammatory and oxidative damage which can result in cancer.

Thus, the presence of butyrate, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and thus fights negative changes in the musoca, is very important.

Anti-diarrheal effect

One of the main reasons of causing diarrhea is an imbalance in the intestines. In the event of an imbalance, the microflora is disturbed and the butyrate formation is disturbed, as well.

In such cases, it is important that you supply your body with both fiber and butyrate as this will regain balance in the intestines and you will stop diarrhea.

In addition, butyrate improves the absorption of sodium, potassium and water which also helps in the treatment of diarrhea.

It helps to regulate excretion and reduces the need for infusions in people with short intestine syndrome who suffer from excessive water and sodium loss.

Support of barrier intestinal function

Butyrate modulates and improves the barrier function of intestinal epithelial cells. These cells are the first line of defense of the human body and ensure proper permeability of the intestinal epithelial layer.

This barrier protects our organism from various toxic, pathogenic or harmful substances.

It reduces the risk of bowel cancer

A great number of studies have reported the beneficial effects of butyrate on controlling large intestine cancer. Butyrate affects the cell cycle of cancer cells, specifically stopping their formation and promoting their death.

It also regulates the formation of detoxification enzymes that protect cells from carcinogenes.

Antioxidant effect

Butyrate can reduce the oxidative stress caused by inflammation of the intestine which is associated with disturbance of intestinal imbalance and cancer production.

Influence on the intestinal-brain axis

Recently, there is growing evidence between gut-brain communication through the gut-brain axis.

Butyrate can affect the human body indirectly through this axis. An example is appetite influence and eating habits.

In this way it can also increase insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.

Safety and use

In terms of safety, butyrate is a safe substance with minimal risk of side effects.

As already mentioned, butyrate is formed in the intestines by fiber fermentation. The speed and amount of butyrate produced, however, depends on the type of fiber you are taking in. Its production is also affected by the very state of the intestinal microflora.

For this reason, it is important that you take in enough prebiotics that are well fermentable.

It is also recommended to take butyrate through nutritional supplements or diet, especially in people who have intestinal problems and disturbed intestinal balance.

Another option is to drink the BODY&FUTURE Laboratories PROBIOTICS nutritional supplement. Not only does it contain acacia but it also includes probiotics which in combination with the natural ingredient work great to support the overall health of your body.


LEONEL, Alda J.; ALVAREZ-LEITE, Jacqueline I. Butyrate: implications for intestinal function. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 2012, 15.5: 474-479.

LIU, Hu, et al. Butyrate: a double-edged sword for health?. Advances in Nutrition, 2018, 9.1: 21-29.

CANANI, Roberto Berni, et al. Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG, 2011, 17.12: 1519.

HAMER, Henrike M., et al. The role of butyrate on colonic function. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 2008, 27.2: 104-119.

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