What is Butyrate?
Butyrate is a type of fat, but not just any type of fat. Butyrate belongs to a unique group of fats known as short-chain fatty acids (or “SCFAs” for short). The Reason I say that SCFAs are unique is because they are actually made in your gut by your gut microbiota – you know, the trillions upon trillions of bacteria that live throughout your digestive system? Yeah, those little guys.
Amazingly, these super important bacteria ferment the fiber you eat, turning it in SCFAs. Now, the reason that I’m focusing on butyrate specifically in this blog post (rather than SCFAs in general) is because it is the most effective gut healing SCFA.
Quickly before we dive any deeper into the benefits of butyrate, I wanted to mention the fact that butyrate goes by multiple names. Two of the most common that appear on the internet are butyric acid and butanoic acid. So, if you happen to see an article or supplement talking about things, just remember that they are the same as butyrate. While the names may be interchangeable the different forms of butyrate compounds are not. The gold standard of Butyrate is Tributyrin.
Butyrate for gut healing
Tributyrin is the most bioavailable, slow released, and absorbable form of butyrate. Tributyrin has been clinically proven to carry butyrate to the lower colon where it can help fix gastrointestinal issues like IBS and Leaky Gut. Unlike other butyrate supplements like sodium butyrate, tributyrin is a more efficient, pharmacokinetically superior variant of butyrate, and one of the more influential SCFAs.
What Does Butyrate do in your body?
When it comes to how butyrate truly works in your body, you can look at three key mechanisms, Butyrate:
- Inhibits specific chemicals known as “histone deacetylases” (HDACs for short)
- Increases the activation of “G-Coupled protein receptors” (GPCRs for short)
- Improves the health of your gut cells
Now, I apologize in advance. This next little bit will git just a tiny bit science-y. So, feel free to skip to the next section if your inner Bill Nye isn’t dying to know how butyrate causes it’s effects on a cellular level!
Butyrate as an HDAC inhibitor
One of the main jobs butyrate has in your body is to block the actions of a group of enzymes called “histone deacetylases” (HDACs). HDACs are a very specific type of enzyme that chemically change the structure of your “histones”. Histones are proteins that physically wrap your DNA up into a tight little package in your cells. In short, HDAC inhibitors (like butyrate, for example) help histones to wrap around your DNA more tightly. This improves the health of your cells and protects you from inflammation.
Butyrate as a GCPR activator
The second big job butyrate has in your body is to activate a group of proteins called “G-coupled protein receptors” (GCPRs). GCPRs are a type of protein that sit on the walls of your cells. They are activated by all sorts of compounds and, when activated they tell your cells how to function. Of course, butyrate obviously doesn’t act on all the GCPRs found in the body. But it does activate some important ones on some really important cells.
By activating Its GCPRs, butyrate can:
- Improve your immune system function
- Lower inflammation
- Alter the activity of your nervous system to help manage your energy expenditure
Butyrate and Gut Cell Health
While a good amount of butyrate is absorbed into your body (to act on your HDACs and GCPRs), not all of it is. A lot of it stays in your gut. There, it is used for energy by the cells and bacteria in your digestive system. Well-energized gut cells and gut bacteria have lots of benefits for your gut health. It can:
- Reduce inflammation in your gut
- Increases the number of healthy gut bacteria
- Improve your ability to digest and absorb food
For more information on healing your gut /collections/gutarmor-collection
Butyrate is the most effective SCFA
The gold standard of butyrate is tributyrin
Butyrate helps heal your gut and immune system