In addition to being a chief source of energy for certain friendly bacteria, butyric acid is also a key determinant of gut flora diversification.

There is no denying that having optimal gut flora diversification promotes health in many ways. In fact, the state of your health largely depends on the types and levels of the bacteria in your gut.

However, the modern diet, which is typically low in fibers and high in simple sugars, wreaks havoc on the gut flora diversification. As a result, the risk of a host of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, immune disorders, and mental illnesses increases significantly.

A proper nutrition is something you can change to help the friendly bacteria in your gut. In addition, you may also take high potency probiotics and immunobiotics to protect your health and promote longevity.

When talking about the ways to promote health through gut flora diversification, one small but powerful molecule called butyric acid has shown a promising role in numerous studies. In this article, we take a closer look at how butyric acid helps with gut flora diversification and what benefits you can expect to get using it.

A Quick Overview of Butyric Acid: Learn the Basics

Butyric acid, also called butanoic acid or propylformic acid, is a short-chain fatty acid. The intestinal and colonic cells use it as a source of energy to perform their tasks.

You can get it from milk, milk products like ghee and butter, and plant oils. In your gut, it is produced from the metabolism of fibers by the anaerobic bacteria.

Several studies suggest butyric acid regulates the proliferation of cells in the large intestine, movement of the digestive tract (motility), the composition of the gut flora, and your immune system.

The Role of Butyric Acid in Gut Flora Diversification: Things to Know

As mentioned earlier in the article, butyric acid or its salt form butyrate helps regulate the composition of the gut flora, in this section; we will explore the underlying mechanisms behind it.

  • It is key to the survival and growth of distinct groups of butyrate-producing bacteria

The butyrate-producing bacteria have powerful roles in preventing colon cancer, improving the gut barrier functions, and reducing oxidative stress in the colon. These clinically important groups of bacteria utilize butyric acid during their energy metabolism.

  • Butyric acid promotes a healthy gut environment that helps the growth of numerous friendly bacteria

For the bacteria to survive in the gut, they require a healthy environment that not only promotes their growth but also helps maintains a balance among several hundreds of bacterial species. Butyric acid helps this by improving the gut barrier function, increasing the absorption of nutrients in the intestines, and reducing inflammation.  

The Key Takeaways

Butyric acid is a small but very powerful fatty substance that has demonstrated benefits to your health. You can get your daily dose of this beneficial substance principally from milk and milk products. In addition, you may also consider taking its supplement.

 

References

Diversity, metabolism and microbial ecology of butyrate-producing bacteria from the human large intestine

Butyric acid in irritable bowel syndrome

Bifidobacteria and Butyrate-Producing Colon Bacteria: Importance and Strategies for Their Stimulation in the Human Gut