Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Butyrate, Fiber and Health
For a long time fiber was touted as a prevention for colon cancer, but the New England Journal of Medicine showed in a pretty strong study that fiber did not have that big of an effect on it. So I really made no concentrated effort to keep fiber in my diet. Along comes butyric acid or butyrate.
Butyric acid is the most important source of energy for the large intestine. Particularly the intestinal epithelial, the layer between the intestinal wall and the rest of the body. Its produced by intestinal bacteria from dietary fiber. It has potent anti inflammatory effects. It helps to prevent the loss of intestinal permeability.
Research has shown that butyric acid can improve the antioxidant status of the intestinal wall: glutathion levels increased, an indication that the gut’s immune function was strengthened.
Good sources are real butter, this has around 3-4% butyrate, and good fibers sources are sweet potatoes, beans, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Learning more about butyrate has convinced me that fiber is indeed an important part of your diet. It also reminds me of how vital probiotics can be in your supplement support group. I believe more and more performance breakthroughs will come from the enteric nervous system and fascia and butyrate will help keep gut health at its best.