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What is Butyrate?

Updated: May 30, 2022

Butyrate. You might be hearing this word a lot in the POTS, chronic fatigue, and Long Covid communities.

But what is butyrate, and why is it so important?


- has anti-inflammatory effects

- serves as a major energy source for the lining of the large intestine

- turns on BDNF in the brain, which is essential for nerve cells recovering from injury

How is butyrate created?

When F. Prausnitzii, a gut bacteria, eats your food, it makes butyrate. Pretty cool, huh? Researchers have found that those with lower levels of F. Prausnitzii had a worse case of COVID severity. Those with CFS have also been found to have low levels of F. Prausnitzii.

This shows us that the gut microbiome modulates our immune response. Researchers have also suggested that Covid leaves our gut in a state of dysbiosis, possibly contributing to some of the symptoms seen in those with Long Covid.

So butyrate:

- fuels your gut lining

- has antioxidant properties

- and protects your brain

It's made by F. prausnitzii, a gut microbe with anti-inflammatory benefits. F. prausnitzii are "oxygen-sensitive".

So, they die within minutes of exposure to air. This means there is no way to take a probiotic supplement containing F. prausnitzii.

Instead, we have to turn to food! So what does F. prausnitzii bacteria like to eat?

Prebiotic starches. Things like beans, vegetables, avocados, onion, banana, garlic, leek, wheat, rye, rice, barley, oat, sorghum, fruit, and whole grains.

So yeah, low-carb diets could theoretically impact the production of this.

If you're looking for help with cleaning up your diet, click here for a coaching session with me on this topic.


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