No. 1 Nutrient To Improve Gut Health

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

improve gut health

You’ve heard about probiotics and prebiotics, but have you heard about postbiotics? Postbiotics are just as crucial for your gut health as prebiotics and probiotics, yet they rarely get the same attention. In today’s video, you’ll discover what postbiotics are and how a powerful postbiotic called butyrate can significantly benefit your gut, body, and overall health.

#1 Nutrient To Improve Gut Health | Best Foods To Improve Your Gut Health

In fact, gastroenterologists—experts on the gut—believe butyrate could be “the vitamin D of the next decade: the sunshine from within molecule,” highlighting its wide-ranging importance. Watch this video until the end to learn the THREE ways you can increase butyrate through your diet.

gut microbiome

Before we get into what postbiotics are, you need to understand probiotics and prebiotics, especially if you have gut issues, as they all work together to support your gut health.

Advertisement

You have up to 300 trillion bacteria inside you, forming your gut microbiome, and outnumbering your own cells. Some of these bacteria are beneficial, while others can cause imbalance and disease.

To live long and well, your goal is to maintain a balanced gut microbiome with more beneficial bacteria.

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in your gut. Their job is to support and maintain a balanced gut microbiome, which offers benefits like improved digestion, better immune function, healthier skin, enhanced mental health, reduced inflammation, and a lower risk of diseases.

You can get probiotics from foods like fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and kombucha, or from supplements. However, if you have histamine intolerance, fermented foods can trigger symptoms like headaches, nausea, and cramps, so take note.

Probiotic supplements can benefit most people, especially those with digestive symptoms or gut microbiome imbalances. However, if you have SIBO, use spore-forming probiotics like Bacillus coagulans, as other bacteria can worsen symptoms by increasing bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine.

What most people don’t understand is that probiotics are useless without prebiotics, like a car without gasoline. Probiotics are healthy bacteria, and prebiotics are what probiotics eat to get the “fuel” to do their job.

Advertisement

Prebiotics are dietary fibers in plant-based foods that your body can’t digest. They pass through your small intestine undigested and reach your colon, where they are fermented by the probiotics in your gut. This process produces nourishing nutrients like short-chain fatty acids (butyrate, acetate, and propionate), which support a healthy gut microbiome.

Foods high in prebiotic fiber include chicory root, garlic, onions, dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichokes, walnuts, and pistachios. While prebiotics offer many gut health benefits, such as increasing satiety, reducing food cravings, and promoting regular bowel movements, they may not be suitable for everyone.

Consuming too many prebiotics can cause gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. If you have IBS, SIBO, or FODMAP intolerance, prebiotics can exacerbate your condition, so it’s best to limit or avoid them until your symptoms improve.

Next, let’s get into postbiotics and butyrate.

Postbiotics are bioactive compounds produced when probiotics break down and ferment prebiotics. These byproducts include short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), enzymes, and components of bacterial cells. One important short-chain fatty acid is butyrate, which has been well-studied to support digestive health, help control inflammation, and even aid in preventing disease.

Next, let’s look at six incredible benefits of butyrate.

Advertisement

The Number 1 benefit is “Strengthen The Gut Lining”.

Butyrate is the main energy source fueling the cells that form the lining of your colon (colonocytes). This intestinal lining helps your body absorb nutrients and protects it from harmful bacteria, yeast, and other pathogens, effectively acting as a gatekeeper.

However, when you don’t eat enough prebiotic foods, bacteria like those in the Firmicutes group cannot produce sufficient butyrate, and your gut lining weakens.

Consequently, toxins and pathogens can slip through holes, or ‘leaks,’ in the walls, potentially causing leaky gut syndrome. This condition can lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including digestive distress and low energy

Butyrate can help repair the ‘leaks’ in your gut walls by tightening the ‘junctions’ that connect every cell.

The next benefit is, Number 2 “Prevent Gut Inflammation”.

Butyrate helps to stop inflammatory processes by increasing the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals and protects cells from damage.

Recent studies show that butyrate or butyrate-producing microbes can help protect against or reduce symptoms of many chronic inflammation-related conditions, such as allergies, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, and type 2 diabetes. I have included links to the sources below.

Advertisement

Moving on is benefit Number 3, “Prevent Digestive Disorders”.

Butyrate may be beneficial in the management of digestive disorders, such as IBS and IBD. Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which are types of IBD, are associated with lower levels of a specific beneficial bacterium called Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, known to produce butyrate.

In a major 2015 study conducted in Spain, researchers examined the gut health of 113 people with digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea, and bloating, and compared them to 66 healthy individuals. They found that those with digestive issues had much lower levels of butyrate, while the healthy participants had higher levels of this beneficial compound. This suggests that butyrate levels may be a key factor in maintaining gut health and preventing digestive disorders.

The next benefit, Number 4 is “Protect Against Cancer”.

Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is a major health problem in the Western world, mainly because people don’t eat enough fiber. Without enough butyrate, the cells in your gut can’t work properly.

This allows harmful cells to grow and send out signals that cause inflammation and lead to cancer. Butyrate can make these harmful cells self-destruct, stopping cancer from developing.

And benefit Number 5, we have “Combat Diabetes and Obesity”.

When more short-chain fatty acids like butyrate are made in the colon, they trigger the release of gut hormones that help improve insulin resistance and keep blood sugar levels normal.

Additionally, butyrate has anti-obesity effects, such as reducing appetite and increasing satiety, which contribute to better weight management.

Advertisement

Furthermore, butyrate can be converted into ketones in the liver, benefiting liver health and supporting the ketogenic diet. The keto diet severely limits carbohydrate intake, forcing the body to use fat for energy in a state called ketosis. By helping to maintain ketosis, butyrate plays a crucial role in increasing fat burning and controlling appetite.

And the Number 6 benefit is, “Protect Your Brain”.

alzheimer's

Butyrate affects many of the processes involved in diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and autism, which means it can also help support brain health. In fact, a 2011 study in Germany found that butyrate could even improve mental function in aging mice.

Before we look at the THREE ways to increase butyrate in your diet, let’s review the factors that lower butyrate levels. These factors disrupt the balance of your gut microbiome, reducing the number of butyrate-producing bacteria:

A low-fiber diet, eating high-lectin foods, antibiotic use, chronic stress, poor sleep patterns, excessive alcohol consumption, eating too much sugar, consuming vegetable oils and trans fats, and lack of exercise.

tomatoes fight chronic inflammation

So, the first obvious way to boost butyrate production is to eat a diet high in prebiotic fiber because it encourages the butyrate-producing bacteria in your colon to thrive. Here’s a list of prebiotic foods again: apples, garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, barley, oats, flaxseed, walnuts and pistachios.

One potential issue with increasing butyrate by consuming prebiotic-rich foods is that many of these foods are also high in lectins, which can trigger leaky gut and cause gas and bloating.

Advertisement

Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants also contain lectins. These are resistant plant proteins that can contribute to leaky gut by binding to the cells in your gut lining and causing inflammation.

To avoid the negative effects of lectins, you can either skip lectin-containing foods or make them more digestible by cooking, soaking, fermenting, or sprouting them first.

If you have IBS or IBD, an autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or celiac disease, or experience symptoms like nausea or other types of digestive distress after consuming high-lectin foods, you should definitely consider avoiding lectins.

The second way to get more butyrate into your diet is by eating foods that already contain butyrate. These foods include butter—especially grass-fed butter—hard cheeses like Parmesan and Pecorino, and full-fat yogurt with live active cultures.

The third way to increase butyrate levels is to take a supplement. Ideally, this supplement should contain:

Spore-forming probiotic strains that can survive the acidic environment of the stomach, Prebiotics that do not cause gas and bloating, And butyrate that can make it to your intestines.

Advertisement

Such a supplement does exist, and it is our recommended natural solution to increase butyrate levels in your body. Click the link below to learn more.

Finally, other ways to increase butyrate levels or butyrate-producing bacteria include getting enough quality sleep, intermittent fasting, reducing stress, and regular exercise.

Advertisement