What is Butyrate and Microbiome and why are they so important?

Butyrate is produced by your gut bacteria and supports digestive health and disease prevention.

The Microbiome is an ecosystem of bacteria, yeasts and other microscopic beings that live in the gut.

Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that provides fuel for the cells of our gut lining, supports immune system functions of the colon wall and protects against certain diseases of the digestive tract.

What is butyrate and how is it made?

Microbiome performs many functions from promoting healthy immune system function to maintaining the integrity of the gut lining.

Did you know the human body cannot break down dietary fibre that has travelled through the digestive tract? Microbiome helps to do this through a process called fermentation.

Butyrate on the other hand is the main fuel for the cells that line the gut, known as “colonocytes”, providing up to 90% of their energetic requirements.

“several studies have linked impaired butyrate metabolism with mucosal damage and inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease”. I myself used to suffer from IBS as I have mentioned in previous posts and changing my diet healed this once debilitating condition.

Butyrate functions as a “HDAC inhibitor”, meaning that it performs anticancer and anti-inflammatory functions by suppressing the activity of specific immune cells. These functions are believed to contribute to its role in preventing colorectal cancer and inflammation. Furthermore, by reducing the inflammatory capacity of the gut, it creates an environment that allows the microbiome to exist within humans without stimulating an acute immune response.

How can I enhance my microbiome’s butyrate production?

Eating foods through diet has been shown to optimise butyrate production. And what are these foods? You guessed it predominately fruit, vegetables and pulses. They contain dietary fibre that passes through the body undigested to feed the microbiome living in your colon. The more your body has to work to break this food down the more goodness it digests.

Enhancing your microbiome through food is an effective and safe way to promote digestive health and butyrate production.

Avoid if you can high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets as these have been shown to disrupt butyrate production in the microbiome.

It is essentially important we keep our bodies in balance to promote optimum health. Our gut bacteria is a prime example of how we can keep our immune system in good working order. Diet is key.

As I have mentioned I am not a health professional but health and diet are my passions and suffering from IBS for a number of years as well as migraines made me seek out medical advice. I have visited numerous health professionals and alternative medicine pracitioners and I read furiously to keep up to date on the latest medical science.

If you are wanting to know more about your dietary habits and improving your health, then please visit a qualified nutritionist. They will run through the subjects I mentioned in this post and will give you the diet and supplements required for your individual needs.

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