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.


Glenn said...

Welcome to Paleo dieting!


Dr. Scott said...

I thought Paleo didn't like sweet potatoes and beans...

Glenn said...

True, beans are not considered paleo. Sweet potatoes and some other tubers are ok (depending on who you ask). But anyone who embraces butter is taking a huge step away from the American Heart Association/USDA food pyramid, and toward paleo.

I was speaking partly in jest, since it is such a big topic these day. A lot of smart people are adopting it (Charles Poliquin most famously, but also younger guys like Steve Low from Eatmoveimprove), while Lyle McDonald and his forum just had a collective temper tantrum mocking it.

Jason Ross said...

Glenn, what in your opinion is the best source of info regarding paleo on the internet if there is one?

Dr. Scott said...

Another big paleo fan who has a line of snack food is Robb Wholf who used to teach for Crossfit before they fired him to stick with the zone.http://robbwolf.com/ another source I came across on a friends blog (coach rut with the fitness conduit) http://www.paleonu.com/

J, I am also interested in a good web source.

Dr. Scott said...

Ross take a look at this post on Running/"cardio" and heart disease, its an interesting read..... Try telling that to any of my running patients! http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/11/1/cardio-causes-heart-disease.html

Glenn said...

Great Scott! ;)

You just linked to what I was going to mention as the best paleo information site on the net (paleonu.com).

The guy who runs it is a medical doctor, and clearly explains that his approach relies on modern nutritional science, and looks at evolutionary biology and paleo-anthropology to confirm what we can infer from biochemistry. He does not like "cult food re-enactment" which gets some people carried away to extremes. (Kurt's approach also allows you to respond to people who say, "Well how about eating bark, or raw meat? And cave men didn't have refrigerators..." etc. His approach is not about eating exactly what paleo man ate, but rather re-creating, as well as we can, the healthy paleolithic metabolism.)

Other good sites:




They don't all agree on everything (e.g. fruit). But they are all pretty sensible and offer a good overview of the subject.

Jason Ross said...

Toby, Thats an awesome thread link. Yea...there is no way in my opinion you will ever convince a "runner" that it's not the healthiest option. But for the people that run to lose weight, but hate running, this is another example to show them that it's not the greatest practice of health, and show them better ways for body composition.
Great link by the way to Paleonu.com

Glenn said...

Uhhhh... Jason, if you weren't interested in my reply, why did you ask?

Jason Ross said...

Glenn, Sorry didn't mean to make it sound that way. I got the impression both you and Dr. Scott thought Paleonu.com was the best link. I think it's pretty good. I've followed whole health scource blog for awhile now as well.

Lynnlake said...

www.marksdailyapple.com is another great paleo living site.