• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To register, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Let's Talk Butyrate, again, Part I

Butyrate is a molecule that is called a short-chain fatty acid, which are building blocks of fats and our cells can not be without them. This particular fatty acid is very small and is usually made by bacteria living in our gut, mostly from fibers derived from grains, beans, onions and bananas.

Butyrate production is determined by the level of bacteria that produce butyrate, and the pH of the large intestine. Butyrate-producing bacteria seem to thrive in a more acidic environment (lower pH), whereas acetate and propionate bacteria seem to thrive in a more alkaline environment
( higher pH ). Butyrate is mainly produced by Firmicutes.

Butyrate can also be made by animals' own cells - for example , it can be found in the form of butyric acid in dairy products (especially butter ). Butter contains 3-4% of butyrate in the form of tributyrin and it is actually from butter that butyrate gets its name.

Studies have shown that eating more fiber increases butyrate production. There is a positive association between a higher intake of plant foods and increased levels of short-chain fatty acids in stools.

Butyrate has so many benefits, combatting autoimmunity, cancer, and psychological disorders.
It also changes the epigenetics in the brain.

Top 22 Science-Based Health Benefits of Butyrate and It's Derivatives

1) Butyrate Is Crucial For Gut Health
Butyrate-producing bacteria (such as Clostridium butyricum) live in the end part of the gut, in the colon. Colon cells prefer butyrate for sustenance. In the mitochondria of colon cells, 70 to 90% of butyrate is oxidized into acetyl-CoA, which is subsequently processed through the tricarboxylic acid cycle to generate a large quantity of ATP. Butyrate and it's "production factories" are imperative for intestinal health.

2) Butyrate Increases Gene Activity
Butyrate is able to influence which genes are active. There are several mechanisms in the cell that control gene activity by changing composition of the chromosome proteins (or histones). An addition of a methyl group to a part of the histone (methylation) forces it to cling tightly to the gene nearby, successfully blocking it's production. Another reaction called acetylation (addition of an acetyl group) frees an area of DNA and increases gene production.
Butyrate helps maintain "open" and productive state of genes by blocking a protein that takes off acetyl groups. This activity turns out to be extremely important in many different conditions .

3) Butyrate Fights Inflammation
Many researchers show that butyrate can influence the activity of the immune system. It was observed rather early that the addition of butyrate to the culture of immune cells has a double-edge effect. On one hand , butyrate blocks the development of new immune cells participating in inflammation. On the other hand, it stimulates the production of some inflammatory proteins.
Later research also performed on cell cultures has proven that butyrate does reduce inflammation. Butyrate suppresses the activity of cells and proteins driving inflammation. It was also shown in mice that supplementation of their diet with butyrate-producing fibers counterbalanced inflammation caused by bacterial toxin.

4) Butyrate Is Good For The Brain And Nerve Cells
It was shown on the model of a stroke in mice that treatment of the animals with sodium butyrate after brain injury supports the development of new nerve cells in the damaged areas. Also, treatment with sodium butyrate in mice that have brain trauma strengthens the barrier between brain and blood , which helps recovery. Butyrate is useful with other types of nerve damage as well: for example, sodium butyrate was reported to protect nerve cells in the ear after treatment with antibiotics thus preventing hearing loss. Cultures of butyrate-producing bacteria can be used to treat nerve damage.

5-6-7 ) Butyrate Is Used for Treating Anxiety, Depression, and Mania
Sodium butyrate and sodium phenylbutyrate are benefical against depression and other types of mood disorders. In mice kept under chronic stress, sodium butyrate has antidepressant-like affects. It also had an anti-manic and anti-oxidant effect in rat models of mania. Sodium butyrate alleviates depression and increases cognition ability, and protects from stress in general.

End of Part 1
  • Like
Reactions: ErdemX and ahmo


Butyrate made me soooo sick... I wish I understood why. Everything I read only says positive things... Any insight into when it would be bad for someone? this is the form that I took...https://www.amazon.com/BodyBio-Sodium-Butyrate-Short-Capsules/dp/B0058A9SF0
@ ebethc My daughter (with CFS) just started taking a combo tablet of butyrate -calcium -magnesium, to soon to see how she will react. We were hoping it would help with weight loss . She has been using organic butter from grass-fed cows , you might give it a try . She also takes organic greens . Alot of people have food intolerances, but are taking probiotics, I often wonder what the little "critters " are feeding on . Some organic greens might help ...
made me reeeeeally sick too. couldnt take it. i read in some paper it can reactivate some herpes virus? but i doubt this is why is made me so sick
I wouldnt be surprised if those that took Butyrate had too much at once compared to what the body and proper bacteria would ferment in a natural state. Perhaps it would be more beneficial to look at getting the gut back to rpime butyrate producing level rather than supplementing.

Blog entry information

Read time
3 min read
Last update

More entries in User Blogs

More entries from seunderwood