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šŸ˜ŽThe New Kid On the Block: Butyrate

What if I told you there was something that could help calm the šŸ”„ inflammation in your GI tract, combat leaky gut, support your immune system, AND support your nervous system?Ā 

Most people have heard of probiotics, or the good bacteria in our gut, and prebiotics, the food for the probiotics or good gut bacteria, but have you heard about postbiotics?Ā 

šŸŒ(prebitoic) āž”ļøšŸ¦ (probiotic) āž”ļøšŸ¤©(postbiotic)

What Are Postbiotics?

šŸ”Postbiotics are the natural byproducts of our gut bugs’ fermentation process when they feast on dietary fiber. We eat the fiber/prebiotics, our gut bugs help us break down that fiber, and then they produce these postbiotics.Ā 

Here are examples of some common post-biotics:

  • āœ…Butyrate: A short-chain fatty acid produced by the fermentation of dietary fiber in the colon. It’s known for its gut-healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • āœ…Propionate: Another short-chain fatty acid produced during the fermentation of fiber. It plays a role in regulating metabolism and appetite.
  • āœ…Acetate: The third major short-chain fatty acid produced in the colon. It has various metabolic effects and can contribute to overall gut health.
  • āœ…GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid): An inhibitory neurotransmitter that can be produced by certain gut bacteria. It may have potential effects on mood and anxiety.
  • āœ…Bacteriocins: Antimicrobial peptides produced by certain bacteria to inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens in the gut.

Why Postbiotics Matter:

šŸ’žGut Harmony: Postbiotics help maintain a harmonious gut environment, keeping your digestion on track and reducing unpleasant symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.

šŸ’ŖImmune Boosting: They give your immune system a boost by promoting a balanced gut flora. With ~70% of our immune system located in our gut, a healthier gut means a stronger immune system.

šŸ”„Inflammation Buster: Postbiotics, especially Butyrate, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They help calm down the inflammation in our GI tract that leads to things like: bowel urgency, diarrhea, cramping, bacterial imbalance, and leaky gut.

The Star of the Show: Butyrate

šŸ”¦Now, let’s shine the spotlight on Butyrate. This postbiotic is a true gut hero. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that your gut bugs produce when they munch on fiber. Here’s why it’s a game-changer:

A Deep Dive into the World of Butyrate:

  • šŸ“Production Inside You: Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid naturally produced in the colon by gut bacteria through the fermentation of dietary fiber. It’s a natural byproduct of the digestive process.Ā 
  • šŸ§±Gut Wall Support: Butyrate is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut lining. It helps nourish and strengthen the cells lining the colon, contributing to a well-functioning gastrointestinal tract.
  • šŸ”„Anti-Inflammatory: Butyrate is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce inflammation in the gut, which can be beneficial for individuals with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • āš”Energy Source: The cells in the colon use butyrate as a primary energy source. It plays a significant role in providing the necessary energy for these cells to function optimally.
  • šŸ’©Promotes Bowel Regularity: Butyrate can help promote regular bowel movements and alleviate symptoms of constipation by supporting healthy gut motility.
  • šŸ¦ Balances Gut Microbiota: Butyrate supports a balanced and diverse gut microbiota, which is essential for overall gut health. A diverse microbiome is associated with better digestion and a stronger immune system.
  • šŸ§¬Potential Cancer Protection: Some studies suggest that butyrate may have a protective role against colorectal cancer. It can inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in the colon and promote apoptosis (cell death) in these cells.
  • šŸ§ Mood and Brain Health: Emerging research indicates that the gut-brain connection may be influenced by butyrate. It could potentially have an impact on mood and cognitive function by modulating inflammation and the gut-brain axis.

Food Sources of Butyrate:

Butyrate isn’t just a mysterious compound. You can find it in everyday foods. Here are some delicious sources:

  1. šŸ§ˆGhee: This clarified butter is a Butyrate goldmine. It’s rich, creamy, and adds a delectable flavor to your dishes. BONUS: even if you donā€™t tolerate lactose in many dairy options, you may still tolerate ghee with it being lactose free. Some great ways to use ghee: cook your eggs in it, smother it onto your favorite sourdough, mix it into your mashed sweet potatoes,Ā  or sautĆ© your veggies in it.
  2. šŸ§ˆButter: Yes, good ol’ butter! Butyrate content varies depending on the source and processing, but grass-fed organic butter is often a great choice!
  3. šŸ«Fiber-Rich Foods: Remember, Butyrate is produced when your gut bugs digest fiber. Load up on fiber-rich foods like whole grains, beans, lentils, and fruits and veggies.

Example of a butyrate boosting breakfast:

šŸ³Eggs/spinach/tomato scramble cooked in ghee with a side of sprouted oats topped with ground flax/chia + raspberries (dash of cinnamon added to the top)šŸ“

Postbiotics are a word you will be seeing more and more in the gut health world, with Butyrate leading the way. By feeding your gut bugs the right fiber-rich foods, you’re not only keeping them full and happy, but you are also reaping the incredible health benefits of Butyrate and other postbiotics.šŸ¤©

šŸŽ™ļøIf you struggle with bloat and feel limited in your food choices, it is possible heal your body AND relationship with food! Did you know I have a secret podcast walking alongside you with some next step tips to do just that. Learn to fix your gut and love food again HERE!šŸŽ™ļø

Remember, the information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not replace medical advice. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

Note: always consult your healthcare provider before trying anything new. This blog is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice.Ā 

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Hi, Iā€™m Dr. Heather

Registered dietitian and helps people struggling with bloating, constipation, and IBS find relief from their symptoms and feel excited about food again.

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